"Ich will ein Hähnchen essen."

Translation:I want to eat a chicken.

March 2, 2013



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.

March 2, 2013


It probably isn't, no. 'ein Hähnchen' actually suggests a whole chicken, just like you assumed.

March 2, 2013


Oh, that Duo.

August 6, 2013


Why is "essen" and not "esse" ?

July 28, 2014


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".

September 1, 2014


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.

August 15, 2014


May I apologise on Duo's behalf to all vegetarians

August 2, 2014


Why isn't "I want a chicken to eat" correct?

October 18, 2013


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.

January 5, 2014


wow, I wouldn't have known that about english otherwise. I've learned a lot from this website.

May 4, 2016


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.

May 25, 2014


Which, in that case, would be "Ich will, dass ein Hänchen isst." :-)

May 26, 2014


I'm not sure, but wouldn't that be "Ich will, dass ein Hänchen esse" ?

See the column Konjunktive I in the table: http://canoo.net/inflection/essen:V:haben

August 20, 2014

  • 1550

Not a native, but I guess it would be "frisst", not "isst", not "esse", because it is third person singular and animal too.

May 2, 2016


Right. According to examples from dict.cc, the "ich will, dass..." construction uses regular present tense, not subjunctive.

For example "Ich will, dass du (es) merkst, wenn ich nicht da bin."

(If it were subjunctive, you would have seen "merkest")

May 2, 2016


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.

January 28, 2015


Why isn't 'I would like to eat a chicken' a correct translation?

July 8, 2014


Why is it essen and not esse?

August 2, 2014


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".

September 1, 2014


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?

September 30, 2014


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".

October 2, 2014


Wow that's brutal

August 17, 2016


Cooked or raw?

August 30, 2018
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.