"- Is there no food? - Yes there is."
Translation:- Finns det ingen mat? - Jo det gör det.
finns does not have an object, but det in a sentence like Det finns bröd ('There is bread') corresponds to there in English and is necessary for the same reason. bröd and bread in those sentences are not objects, they can be called predicatives, think of it the same way as in sentences like My mother is a farmer ('Min mamma är bonde'), farmer is not an object.
To add on to the other replies, in English, answering a negative question often creates confusion.
Example: "Don't you want to go?" "Yes." "So...yes you do want go, or yes you don't want to go?"
In Swedish (and other languages), they have different yes's to avoid this confusion. If you are saying 'yes' in agreement to the sentence (so in my example, 'yes, I don't want to go') you would use ja, but if you are in disagreement with the sentence (yes, I do want to go), you would use jo.
In Swedish you cannot answer Ja to the question Don't you want to go to school? (Vill du inte gå till skolan?)
You would either answer Jo if you actually want to go to school (since you are opposing the question), or nej if you agree with the question and do not want to go to school.
Answering ja in this case wouldn't mean anything actually, it simply doesn't work.
No, it doesn't have to be unenthusiastic. It's just used for contradicting negative sentences. Negative here does not mean pessimistic, but rather something is negated. Melhael gave an example below.
If the question uses inte/ingen/etc, and you want to say yes, use jo.
"Är det ingen hemma?" "Jo, det är det"
"Isn't there anybody home?" "Yes, it is"
I would like the answer to this too. I'm assuming there is a difference in usage of "inte" versus "ingen" somehow...but then I Googled and found this, and this is in a Swedish grammar book...
And it says that "Är det ingen mat [till mig]?" = "Is there no food [for me]?" with the anticipation of a negative answer ("NO, THERE IS NO FOOD FOR YOU, HA HA!" LOL). In the anticipation of a positive answer, the question's supposed to be "Är det inte någon mat [till mig]?" = "Isn't there any food [for me]?" ("Yes, there is... :) ").
I don't even know anymore. >_>
There is a difference between inte and inte någon.
Actually, you could say that ingen is simply inte någon written together.
Ingen - Inte någon (Inte nån)
Inget - Inte något (inte nåt)
Inga - Inte några
So Finns det ingen mat? is actually exactly the same as Finns det inte någon/nån mat?
Generally Är det …? means 'Is it …?' and Finns det …? means 'Is there …?'. In some cases you can say är to mean the presence of something that is not expected to be permanent. An example would be Det är en fluga i soppan. 'There is a fly in the soup', where finns is less natural. I don't think we've come up with a perfect explanation of when to say det är vs det finns yet, but generally, 'there is' is most often det finns, so that should be your first bet.
In this specific case, if you said Är det ingen mat? I wouldn't understand you – I might think you tried to say Är det inte mat? 'Isn't that food?' instead.