Is this really how you say it in german? In english we just say "I want to eat chicken" (without the a). If you said "I want to eat a chicken" it sounds like you want to eat a WHOLE chicken.
It probably isn't, no. 'ein Hähnchen' actually suggests a whole chicken, just like you assumed.
Basically, when you have two verbs that are part of the same clause, you conjugate the first and not the second. It's the same in English: you say "she wants TO RUN (infinitive form)" not "She wants runs".
With the modal verbs (wollen, können, etc.), you don't conjugate the verb you're talking about being able/wanting to do. I'm sorry I don't have an explanation as to why; as far as I've learned, that's just the construction.
In German, the second (and third, when applicable) verb of a modal verb phrase is put to the end of the sentence, but in English, it always follows directly after the first ver (the "helping" verb).
Your sentence takes a different meaning. The main point of that one is, "I want a chicken in order to eat it," as compared to, for example, keep as a pet or to gather eggs from.
wow, I wouldn't have known that about english otherwise. I've learned a lot from this website.
Or that sentence could also mean that you are watching chickens walking around avoiding the corn you just threw at them, and you want that a chicken eat the food.
Not a native, but I guess it would be "frisst", not "isst", not "esse", because it is third person singular and animal too.
Your sentence makes it sound like you want to possess a chicken for the purpose of eating.
The German sentence means that you want to eat something, and that thing is a chicken.
Just like in English, when you have two verbs that are working together to express one idea, you conjugate one and not the other. We say "She wants TO RUN (infinitive)" not "She wants runs".
So, "zu" is not used here? I translate this word for word to say "I want eat chicken," but I understand it to mean "I want (to) eat chicken.
So do I omit the use of "zu" when using modal verbs?
It's because the "to" in "to eat" is actually part of the infinitive (i.e. not conjugated) part of the verb. So "essen" actually is the same as "to eat".