1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. No tengo ganas de comer


No tengo ganas de comer

Why is the translation 'I do not feel like eating'. What does 'ganas' stand for?

May 31, 2012



'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'.


I agree except for your last sentence. You absolutely would say "I have a fear of" e.g. I have a fear of flying. I have a fear of spiders. I have a fear of clowns. ...basically any phobia.


I looked it up in a dictionary, "tener gamas" is equivalent to "feel like" or "fancy" in English.

Ganas is the plural of gana, or "wish, desire", and "No tengo ganas de comer" could be literally translated as "I do not wish to eat".


@Jez85: There is certainly some ambiguity where to draw the line. 'tener ganas' is usually considered to be an idiomatic expression by most grammar books because you can't translate it word by word. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/tenexp.htm


interesting. it reminds me of expressions like 'tengo miedo' or 'tengo hambre'. 'Desire' makes sense.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.