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Today we are going to look in detail at the Spanish verb “Gustar” (To like).
This is a very commonly used verb which doesn´t work in the same way as the other Spanish verbs we have previously seen. Although it ends in –AR, we don´t say: Yo gusto, Tu gustas, Él gusta, etc… This verb is completely different.
• (a mí) Me gusta: I like…
• (a ti) Te gusta: You like… (friendly)
• (a usted) Le gusta: You like… (formal)
• (a él/a ella) Le gusta: He/She likes…
• (a nosotros/as) Nos gusta: We like…
• (a vosotros/as) Os gusta: You like… (group/friendly)
• (a ustedes) Les gusta: You like… (group/formal)
• (a ellos/as) Les gusta: They like…
• (a mí) No me gusta: I don´t like…
With “Gustar” we don’t use “yo, tú, él, etc…” We use instead “a mí, a ti, a él, etc,…” and it is always optional. So you can say “me gusta” or “a mí me gusta…”
If you are saying that someone likes something you must remember to use “a” before the person. For example:
• A mi abuelo le gusta el vino: My grandfather likes wine
• A Sonia le gusta el chocolate: Sonia likes chocolate
You might find it easier if you think of “Gustar” as meaning “To please” rather than “To like”. In this way you could translate the sentences as “Wine pleases my grandfather” or “Chocolate pleases Sonia”.
If you want to say that the person likes one thing, you will use “gusta” because one thing is pleasing the person, but if the person likes various things you will have to use “gustan” because various things are pleasing the person.
Also it is important to know than you will have to use “el”, “la”, “los” or “las” depending on the gender of the item and if it is singular or plural. For example:
• Me gusta el café: I like coffee
• Me gustan las aceitunas: I like olives
• Le gusta la cerveza: He likes beer
• Le gustan los bombones: He likes chocolates
If you want to say that the person likes doing something. Then you don´t use the article “el” or “la”, “los” or “las”, only the verb in infinitive (without changing the ending). For example:
• Me gusta ver la televisión: I like watching TV
• Nos gusta ir a la playa: We like going to the beach
Now, let´s see how to say how much you like something using “Gustar”:
• Me gusta muchísimo: I really like…
• Me gusta mucho: I like a lot…
• Me gusta bastante: I quite like…
• No me gusta demasiado: I don´t like that much…
• No me gusta nada: I don´t like at all…
These phrases can be used for any person. You can say, for example, “nos gusta muchísimo…” (we really like…) or “no le gusta nada…” (he doesn´t like at all….). Remember that you still have to change “gusta” for “gustan” when necessary.
Let´s see some examples:
• Me gusta muchísimo ir de compras: I really like going shopping
• Me gustan mucho los dulces: I like sweets a lot
• Nos gusta bastante andar por la playa: We quite like walking on the beach
• A mi madre no le gustan mucho las verduras: My mum doesn´t like vegetables very much
• A mis hermanos no les gusta nada la carne: My brothers don´t like meat very much.
So this is all for today. As you can see, the Spanish verb “Gustar” is quite different to the other verbs we have seen in this course. It usually takes a little bit of time for the student to get confident with it, so don’t worry if you find it a bit tricky at first. Once you have practiced with “Gustar” for a while and given it time to sink in you will find that it is not so complicated. It is a really commonly used verb so it is important to get practicing right away.
Have a great week and see you soon with more Spanish.