Masz jakieś zwierzę?


#1

The English translation on CM is ‘Do you have a pet?’. I think the literal translation of the Polish original would be ‘(Do) you have some kind of animal?’. In Polish can ‘zwierzę’, also refer to a ‘pet’ as well as the generic ‘animal’? Or would it be better to refer to a ‘pet’ in Polish as ‘zwierzę domowe’? Thanks!


#2

I think the current translation is fine, though “Do you have any pets?” would work too.

“Jakieś” doesn’t usually carry as much meaning as “some kind of” in questions. It’s just a a word we put in broad questions when we don’t have any idea what answer to expect.

If you were to skip “jakieś” and ask just “Masz zwierzę”?, it’d still be perfectly grammatical, but it also kind of sounds as if you had a reason to believe that the person has a pet, and just wanted to make sure that your suspicion is correct.

I guess you could say “jakieś” works similarly either to the word “any” or the indefinite article (a / an) in English here.

“Zwierzę domowe” is technically the equivalent of “a pet”, but we usually skip “domowe” when it’s clear from the context that we mean pets. Here, the verb “mieć” kind of implies that, since it’s unlikely that somone would own a wild animal. Though if you were to ask this question to a farmer, it might make sense to say “zwierzęta domowe” when you mean pets—otherwise they might include farm animals in their answer.


#3

Thanks, that is a very clear explanation of both ‘jakieś’ and the various contexts of ‘zwierzę’.