This is the thirty-fifth lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at the Spanish verb Gustar To Like.
We have looked at lots of different verbs (action words) so far in this course, such as Ser (To be), Estar (To be), Tener (To have), and Querer (To want). We have learned that some verbs, called Regular verbs, follow consistent conjugation patterns (changing endings for different people) and other verbs, called Irregular verbs, do not. The Spanish verb Gustar To Like is another irregular verb, but one that is even more irregular than the others we have seen so far.
Gustar is conjugated in a different way to most of the verbs we have seen so far. We have been conjugating (changing the ending) of the verbs so far according to the person who is doing the action. However, with the Spanish verb Gustar To Like you should think of things pleasing you and conjugate the verb according to the thing that is pleasing the person.
This may well sound a bit confusing. Bear with us. Compared with what you have been learning, Gustar will seem a bit back-to-front. Don’t worry though, you will soon become accustomed to using Gustar as you will hear it often and there are other Spanish verbs which are conjugated in a similar way so we need to familiarise ourselves sooner rather than later.
How to conjugate the Spanish verb Gustar To Like
(A mí) Me gusta: I like
(A ti) Te gusta: You like
(A él/ella) Le gusta: He/She likes
(A nosotros/as) Nos gusta: We like
(A vosotros/as) Os gusta: You like
(A ellos/as) Les gusta: They like
Making a negative sentence with Gustar is easy. As usual, you just need to add a No:
(A mí) No me gusta: I don’t like
(A ti) No te gusta: You don’t like
(A él/ella) No le gusta: He/She doesn’t like
(A mí), (A ti), (A él/ella), (A nosotros/as), (A vosotros/as), (A ellos/as)
You will see that the personal prepositions Mí (me), Ti (you), El (him), Ella (her), Nosotros/as (us), Vosotros/as (you), Ellos/as (them) are included in brackets with the preposition A (To). These are in brackets because they are optional. You can use them for emphasis, but they are not essential to the sentence.
As we mentioned previously, with the Spanish verb Gustar To Like you need to think of things pleasing the person. This is why we have A mí (To me), A ti (To you), A él/ella (To him/her), etc…
Let’s see some example sentences illustrating how to use the Spanish verb Gustar To Like
I like Rome: (A mí) Me gusta Roma
Rome is an It (3rd person like He or She) so you conjugate the verb as Gusta because Rome is the thing that pleases you. You would translate this sentence literally as (To me) Rome pleases me.
I like you: (A mí) Me gustas
We like to sleep: (A nosotros/as) Nos gusta dormir
He likes football: (A él) Le gusta el fútbol
They like to talk: (A ellos) Les gusta hablar
She likes us: (A ella) Le gustamos
I really like coffee: (A mí) Me gusta muchísimo el café
I really don’t like tea: (A mí) No me gusta nada el té
We quite like to go to the beach (A nosotros) Nos gusta bastante ir a la playa
Do you like to watch TV?: (A vosotros) ¿Os gusta ver la televisión?
Do they like Chinese food? (A ellos) ¿Les gusta la comida china?
Practice makes perfect
The Spanish verb Gustar To Like is notoriously tricky the first time you encounter it. It is not uncommon to hear long term students making regular errors with Gustar. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time to get used to it and don’t worry if it takes a while to sink it. The good news is that it is a very commonly used verb, so you will hear and use it often and this will help you master it.