Hola mis amigos,
¿Están listos? Are you ready for another Spanish lesson? Today we’re all about love! Well, liking really… but we can love too. I’m going to teach you how to express your pleasure/ delight at something.
First, let’s look at the verb Gustar.
Gustar literally translates to: “To be pleasing to” | Note Gustar does not literally translate to: “To like”
Now, we’ll look at how gustar in used in sentences. The construction used when expressing likes or dislikes using gustar can sometimes be a bit tricky, for new Spanish learners. This is because of which words are considered the subjects and objects of the sentence. Additionally, the Spanish construction is different from the English construction. With gustar and other ‘liking verbs’ the verbs are conjugated to match the subject noun (the thing being liked).
Let’s look at these examples:
I like the house – Me gusta la casa
In English, the subject of the sentence is the person ‘I’ but in Spanish the subject of the sentence is the object ‘the house’. This is because the verb/ expression “gustar” changes the subject and object around.
I like the house = The house is pleasing to me = Me gusta la casa
I like the house- Subject: I
The house is pleasing to me- Subject: the house
Additionally, notice that while the English sentence has a direct object, the Spanish sentence has an indirect object. Checkout Grammarly‘s very brief lesson on Direct and Indirect Objects in English.
The verb Gustar used in some expressions
|Me gusta||I like|
|No me gusta||I don’t like|
|¿Te gusta…?||Do you like (informal)…?|
|¿A usted Le gusta…?||Do you like (formal)…?|
|¿Le gusta…?||Do you like (formal)…?|
|¿Qué te gusta hacer?||What do you like to do (informal)?|
|¿Qué le gusta hacer?||What do you like to do (formal)?|
|Me gusta escuchar música||I like to listen to music|
|No me gusta mirar la televisión||I don’t like to watch tv|
|¿Te gusta bailar?||Do you (informal) like to dance?|
|¿A (usted) le gusta jugar al fútbol?||Do you (formal) like to play football?|
|No te gusta jugar al baloncesto||You don’t like to play basketball|
|No le gusta hacer aeróbicos||You don’t like to do aerobics|
|Te gusta correr||You like to run|
|A (Usted) Le gusta ir a la playa||You like to go to the beach|
- Gustar literally means “to be pleasing to”
- The most commonly used forms of gustar are: Gusta and Gustan (we’ll address gustan later)
- We do not use “gusto” for ‘I like.’ A common mistake is to say “Me gusto la flor.” This is incorrect because the subject of the sentence is “la flor.” Remember, the verb is conjugated to agree with the subject of the sentence.
- Gusta is used with verbs and singular nouns. Gustan is used with plural nouns.
To emphasise gustar or clarify, we can the personal “a” + person
|A mí me gusta||I like|
|A tí te gusta||You like|
|A usted le gusta|
|Nos gusta||We like|
|A nosotros nos gusta|
|Les gusta||They like / You all like|
|A ustedes les gusta|
|A Juana le gusta||Juana likes|
|A Renaldo y Ana les gusta||Renaldo and Ana like|
Check out this Señor Jordan video on Gustar, with an explanation of the person “a”
I don’t like: A mí no me gusta / No me gusta
You don’t like: A tí no te gusta/ No te gusta
You like running: Te gusta correr
You don’t like doing aerobics: No te gusta hacer aeróbicos
Note: I like to dance and I like dancing are BOTH translated to: Me gusta bailar
Take a look at these Señor Jordan videos on using the expression “Me Gusta” and “No me gusta”
Let’s look at the use of gustar with plural nouns
Me gustan las plumas = To me the pens are pleasing = I like the pens
Notice that gustar is conjugated as “gustan.” Remember (again), the verb is conjugated to agree with the subject of the sentence.
Me gustan las plumas. (I like the pens.)
Notice that the conjugation of gustar changes to “gusta” when the subject of the sentence is singular but to “gustan” when the subject of the sentence is plural.
Me gusta la pluma. (I like the pen.)
Other verbs like Gustar
- Encantar: To delight
- Interesar: To interest
- Alegrar: To gladden
- Fascinar: To Fascinate
- Disgustar: To disgust
- Molestar: To bother
Choose the correct words/ phrases to complete the sentences below:
1. Me (gusta / gustan) las frutas.
2. Me (gusta / gusto) bailar en las fiestas.
3. A Eduardo (le gusta / se gusta) el coche.
4. A nosotros (nos gustan / nos gustamos) los pantalones.
5. A Xiomara (les gusta / le gustan) las flores.
1. gustan, 2. gusta, 3. le gusta, 4. nos gustan, 5. le gustan
I hope you enjoyed and understood today’s lesson. Be sure to leave any questions in the comments!
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