Learn Spanish Grammar Conventions With The Verb “Gustar”

Spanish Grammar ConventionsIf there’s one verb that gave me a lot of trouble when I first started learning Spanish grammar that verb was “gustar”.

Many of the Spanish lessons and Spanish classes that I took in order to learn Spanish only confused me even more about the use of gustar.

Gustar means to be pleasing to or to find pleasant. But in many instances, Spanish speakers use it the same way that we use the verb to like. For example, in Spanish you don’t literally say:

I like the dog.

In Spanish you would say:

Me gusta el perro.

That literally means the dog is pleasing to me. Actually, it means it pleases me the dog. It may sound strange to your English-hearing ears. But you will get used to it. Let’s try it:

I like the house. = Me gusta la casa.
I don’t like the car. = No me gusta el carro.
You like the table. = Te gusta la mesa.
He likes the screen/monitor. = Le gusta la pantalla.
We like the bridge. = Nos gusta el puente.
They like to lie. = Les gusta mentir.

This insightful lesson on the spanish grammar conventions with gustar is courtesy of Learningspanishlikecrazy.com

Spanish Grammar Conventions With Gustar – Gustar and the plurals

If you want to say “I like the dogs,” a couple of changes have to take place. Can you guess what those changes are? Of course dog (“perro”) must now become plural (“perros”). But the article (“el”) must also become plural (“los”). And the verb must change from third person singular (“gusta”) to third person plural (‘gustan”). Let’s try it:

I like the dogs. = Me gustan los perros.
He likes the screen/monitor. = Le gusta la pantalla.
You like the lakes. = Te gustan los lagos.
She likes the streams. = Le gustan los arroyos.
We like the rivers. = Nos gustan los ríos.
They like the waterfalls. = Les gustan las cataratas.

The following is the manner that we add clarity or emphasis, or mention the name of the person or persons that the object is pleasing to.

A Carlos le gusta nadar. = Carlos likes to swim.
A mí me gusta la playa. = I like the beach.
A ti te gusta la orilla del mar. = You like the seashore.
The boys like the forest. = A los chicos les gusta el bosque.
They like the pool. = A ellos les gusta la piscina.

Spanish Grammar Conventions With Gustar

Verbs with the same construction

There are quite a few verbs in Spanish that follow the same construction as the verb “gustar.” Here are just a few.

Importar (to be important to)
Interesar (to be interesting to)
Faltar (to be lacking to)
Molestar (to bother or to annoy – note that this word does not mean to “molest”)
Encantar (to like)

Spanish Grammar Conventions With Gustar

Different uses of “gustar.”

I have also been confused about when to use “gustar.” Despite what the textbooks say, you can use “gustar” to indicate that you like someone as in “being physically attractive to someone.” For example:

Tú me gustas. = I like you.

Me gusta Carmen. = I like Carmen.

But if you want to say that you like someone as in I get along well with (name), there’s a different way to say it.

Me cae bien Carmen. = I like Carmen or I get along well with Carmen.

Literally, it means “Carmen falls well on me.”

No me cae bien María. = I don’t like María or I don’t get along well with María.
No me caes bien tú, Or, Tú no me caes bien. = I don’t get along well with you.

Spanish Grammar Conventions With Gustar – Exercises

Let’s do a few exercises with “gustar.” Translate the following sentences adding emphasis on the person or persons that the object is pleasing to. The answers appear below.

1. I like the cats.
2. You like the wedding. (Add emphasis to “you” using the familiar form of “you.”)
3. Joseph likes the building.
4. We like the shirts.
5. All of you like the insects. (Add emphasis to “all of you”)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick Jackson is the Founder of the Learning Spanish Like Crazy system of learning Spanish. To learn more about his system of learning Spanish visit his web site at Learningspanishlikecrazy.com

Spanish Grammar Conventions With Gustar – Answers

1. A mí me gustan los gatos.
2. A ti te gusta la boda.
3. A José le gusta el edificio.
4. A nosotros nos gustan las camisas.
5. A ustedes les gustan los insectos.

Learn One More Spanish Verb: “Llevar”

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