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The Spanish Verb Gustar

¡Hola mis amigos! (Hello my friends), ¿Cómo están? (How are you).

In this lesson we are going to study the Spanish verb gustar (to like). Gustar is a peculiar verb because gustar is usually used with the indirect object pronouns (me, te, le, nos, les) instead of subject pronouns (yo, tú, él, nosotros, ellos). In addition to this peculiarity there is one more; gustar only has two forms: gusta and gustan.

Gustar means to like, but in reality it is closre to the English expression to be pleasing to, and this is the reason we use it with indirect object pronouns in place of subject pronouns. For example:

Me gusta cantar. I like to sing (Singing is pleasing to me)
Te gusta leer. You like to read (Reading is pleasing to you)
Le gusta escribir. He likes to write (Writing is pleasing to him)
Nos gusta viajar. We like to travel. (Travel is pleasing to us)
Les gusta comer. They like to eat. (Eating is pleasing to them)

I know you're starting to get this. It might seem complicated at first but it is actually quite simple. Just remember that when you want to say "I like", you don't say in Spanish Yo gusto (wrong!), you have to say Me gusta (right!). It is the same with the other subjects. If you want to say "You like", you don't say gustas, You need to say Te gusta.

I like - Me gusta
You like - Te gusta
He likes - Le gusta
She likes - Le gusta
We like - Nos gusta
They like - Les gusta

Indirect Object Pronouns - in this particular use - are those that specify to whom something is pleasing:

me - to me
te - to you (informal)
le - to you (formal singular), to him, to her
nos - to us
les - to you (plural), to them

Using GUSTAR with the indirect object pronouns only allows us two forms: gusta y gustan.

Me gusta el carro rojo (I like the red car / The red car is pleasing to me)
Me gustan los carros rojos (I like the red cars / The red cars are pleasing to me)

Nos gusta la lección de español (We like the Spanish lesson / The Spanish lesson is pleasing to us)
Nos gustan las lecciones de español (We like the Spanish lessons / The Spanish lessons are pleasing to us)

Notice that gustar has to agree with the object that we like or is pleasing to us. (Gustar does not have to agree with the person but with the object - remember that). So, gusta (singular) is for one object, ex: Me gusta el libro (I like the book). Gustan (plural) is for two or more objects, ex: Te gustan los libros (You like the books).

When we are refering to an action that we like, we use the singular form of gustar (gusta) plus the verb in its infinitive form.

Let's see some examples:

Me gusta estudiar (I like to study)
Te gusta jugar (You like to play)
Le gusta comer (He likes to eat)
Nos gusta correr (We like to run)
Les gusta caminar (They like to walk)

Let's see some negative sentences:

No me gusta saltar (I don't like to jump)
No te gusta bailar (You don't like to dance)
No le gusta ir de compras (He doesn't like to go shopping)
No nos gusta volar (We don't like to fly)
No les gusta hablar (They don't like to speak)

Spanish Idioms

Apúrate (Hurry up)
No me molestes (Don't bother me)
Cállate (Shut Up!)
Todos están locos (Everybody is crazy)
Qué horror (How awful)
Ya verás (You will see)
Es mejor pájaro en mano que cien volando (A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - Literally: It's better a bird in the hand than 100 flying)

Te gusta esta lección? (Do you like this lesson?) The Spanish verb gustar is used very often, so it is a good one to know and practice.

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