How To Say “I Like” In Spanish Posted by Adir on Jun 10, 2014 in Spanish Grammar
This may seem a post for beginning students, but many intermediate and advanced students get this structure wrong. Gustar, like some other verbs, doesn’t follow the subject + verb pattern.
Here’s how it’s conjugated:
(a mí) me gusta
(a ti) te gusta
(a él) le gusta
(a ella) le gusta
(a usted) le gusta
(a uno) le gusta
(a nosotros/as) nos gusta
(a vosotros/as) os gusta
(a ellos) les gusta
(a ellas) les gusta
(a ustedes) les gusta
So why are there parts of the conjugation in parentheses? The thing is, most of the time the verb endings show which person we are talking about. For example, me gusta clearly means that I like. But can we use the whole form a mí me gusta? Of course, if you want to emphasize that you do like, really like something or someone.
Now let’s talk about about the he, she and formal you (usted) persons. As they use the same pronoun, le, it depends on the context if you’re talking about a man, a woman or addressing someone formally.
Let’s suppose you’re talking about your daughter and you say, le gusta mucho jugar, she likes to play a lot. It’s obvious that it’s a ella le gusta, she likes. However, when there is a chance of misunderstanding, use the whole form, ok?
Now you want to say that your father likes to get up early. In this case you’re going to say:
a mi padre le gusta despertarse temprano
We can’t shorten it to le gusta because we need to specificy the subject (mi padre). Some more examples:
A nuestro profesor de español le gusta darnos pruebas difíciles. – Our Spanish teacher likes to give us difficult tests.
Al niño le gusta jugar con sus amigos. – The boy likes to play with his friends.
And so on!
Now gustar also has a plural form, gustan, when you like something in the plural. Some examples:
Me gusta esta película. – I like this movie.
Me gustan estas películas. – I like these movies.
Te gustan los chocolates. – You like chocolates.
A ella le gustan los perros. – She likes dogs.
Nos gustan estos zapatos. – We like these shoes.
So whenever the object is plural, use gustan, ok?
This is it for today. See you next time!
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