No tengo ganas de comer
Why is the translation 'I do not feel like eating'. What does 'ganas' stand for?
'tener ganas de hacer algo' is an idiomatic expression with the meaning you mentioned above. You just have to learn it as such. If you really insist on breaking it up, 'la gana' means something like 'desire'. It mainly occurs in idiomatic expressions like the one we're talking about.
yes, but there's a subtle difference. In 'tener miedo', all the words take just their ordinary meaning and can be translated separately while 'tener ganas de hacer algo' is an idiomatic expression that has to be translated as a whole (It does not mean 'I have a desire ...' but just 'I feel like...'). Think of it as one big item of vocabulary. To elaborate a bit more on 'tener miedo': The English equivalent 'to be afraid of' is an idiomatic expression. You normally wouldn't say 'I have a fear of'.