Gustar and similar verbs
(Gustar y verbos parecidos)
¿Te gusta
mi coche?
Sí, me gusta
mucho.
Gustar = to be pleasing
Gustar is used to express preferences, likes, and dislikes;
however, gustar means “to be pleasing,” and is
constructed very differently from the English “to like.”
Gustar is a completely regular -ar verb
in its conjugation.
gusto
gustas
gusta
gusta
gustamos
gustáis
gustan
gustan
Gustar = to be pleasing
In Spanish, the thing or things that we like are expressed as
being “pleasing to us.”
I like it.
In Spanish, “it” becomes the subject of the sentence and we
say instead . . .
It’s pleasing to me.
“I” is then expressed as the indirect object phrase “to me.”
Let’s start by talking about something we all like.
I like Spanish.
Following the format on the previous slide, we would say . . .
Spanish is pleasing to me.
In Spanish, this would literally be . . .
gusta.
El español me
gusta
me.
But, of course, in Spanish, pronouns must be placed before
conjugated verbs.
Now, it so happens that, by convention, the subject (in this
case El español) is generally placed at the end of the sentence
with this type of construction.
I like Spanish.
Spanish is pleasing to me.
gusta.
Meespañol
gusta elme
El
español.
It turns out, then, that the sentence in Spanish is
exactly the reverse of that in English, in its sense,
and also in its word order.
To express that others like Spanish, only the
object pronoun needs to change, since Spanish
remains the subject in all the sentences.
Nos
Les
Me
Os
Te
Le gusta el español.
You
They
You
We
He
allI likes
like Spanish.
Spanish.
Since most of the things or people that please
us are expressed in third person, the two
forms of gustar that are used most commonly
are gusta and gustan
gusto gustamos
gustas gustáis
gusta gustan
gusta gustan
Nos gusta el flan que hace la abuela.
We like the flan that grandma makes.
No le gustan los huevos.
She doesn’t like eggs.
Of course, it is possible to use other forms.
Gustas, for example is used frequently.
Me gustas (tú).
You please me. (I like you.)
When gustar is used with one or more infinitives, only the
third person singular is used.
Me gusta leer.
Me gusta leer, jugar fútbol, y viajar.
The verb gustar is used exclusively
with indirect object pronouns
me
te
le
le
nos
os
les
les
Gustar is used with indirect object pronouns
Me gusta ese restaurante.
I like that restaurant.
¿Te gusta el té helado?
Do you like iced tea?
Le gustan mucho las zanahorias.
He likes carrots a lot.
No nos gusta el yogur.
We don’t like yogurt.
Les gusta cenar en casa.
They like to eat dinner at home.
Many other verbs function like gustar
These, too, are used with indirect object pronouns.
aburrir
encantar
faltar
fascinar
interesar
molestar
parecer
quedar
to bore; to tire
to delight; to be extremely
pleasing
to be lacking or needed
to be fascinating
to be interesting
to be a bother or to annoy
to seem
to be left; to remain
Many other verbs function like gustar
Me aburre comer solo.
Eating alone bores me.
Les encanta comer fuera.
They love to eat out.
¿Les faltan servilletas?
Do you all need some napkins?
Nos fascina la cocina francesa.
French cuisine fascinates us.
Many other verbs function like gustar
Nos interesan los pingüinos.
We’re interested in penguins.
Me molestan algunos clientes.
Some customers annoy me.
Nos parece caro este vino.
This wine seems expensive to us.
¿Te queda suficiente dinero para
pagar la cuenta?
Do you have enough money left to
pay the bill?
When we like something a lot (mucho) or
more (más) than something else, mucho and
más immediately follow the verb gustar:
Me gusta mucho comer.
I really like to eat.
A different word order would convey a
different meaning:
Me gusta comer mucho.
I like to eat a lot of food.
When we like something a lot (mucho) or
more (más) than something else, mucho and
más immediately follow the verb gustar:
¿Te gustan más las naranjas o las toronjas?
Do you like oranges or grapefruit best?
Me gustan más las naranjas.
I like oranges best.
Again, the verbs gustar, encantar, etc. are
used exclusively with indirect object pronouns
These are mandatory
me (a mí)
te (a ti)
nos (a nosotros)
os (a vosotros)
le
les (a ustedes)
(a ellos)
(a ellas)
(a usted)
(a él)
(a ella)
The prepositional
forms are optional
(for clarification or emphasis)
All the prepositional forms can be used
to emphasize the object pronoun form.
Juan doesn’t like beans but I do.
A Juan no le gustan los frijoles, pero a mí
sí me gustan.
Notice that because Juan and I were stressed in the
above sentence in English, we added the
prepositional forms a Juan and a mí in Spanish to
reflect that stress.
Since the third-person pronouns le and les can be
ambiguous, they sometimes require prepositional
forms for clarification.
Les encantan las bananas.
Since les can represent a number of different people, we may
need to add a prepositional form to avoid confusion.
A ellos les encantan las bananas.
A ellas les encantan las bananas.
A Luis y a Marta les encantan las
bananas.
A Uds. les encantan las bananas.
FIN
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Gustar and similar verbs