This question is to confirm that the two verbs (to buy and to have) are homophones.


Could the above sentence be translated to "I have a cat" as well as "I am buying a cat"? Are there other ways to phrase the above sentence that are more specific to "buying" vs "having"?

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    Be aware that [飼]{か}う isn't 'have' in general, it's specifically 'have as a pet; take care of'. – Sjiveru Nov 28 '17 at 23:29
  • @Sjiveru Ah okay, then would it also be used to refer to children? As in "わたしわむすこさんをかっています" (I have/take care of a son). – funseiki Nov 28 '17 at 23:37
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    @funseiki No. You can only 飼う animals. – l'électeur Nov 28 '17 at 23:48

Yes, they are homophones, and this is why kanji is important.

  • [買]{か}う → to buy
  • [飼]{か}う → to keep/raise

I guess it could technically be used to say "I'm buying a cat", but no one would ever think that if they heard you say it. If you really wanted to convey the fact that the action you're currently doing is buying a cat, you'd be better off using [購入]{こう・にゅう}している or 買いつつある.

  • 今は猫を購入しているところです。
  • 今は猫を買いつつあります。

Even then, the latter is kind of suspect and could be ambiguous.

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