GUSTAR and the back to front verbs
The verb GUSTAR (to like) is very common but it can be very tricky to use. In this tutorial we are going to learn how to cope with the tricky verb GUSTAR (to like) and other "back to front" verbs.
|Gustar is one of the "back to front" verbs in Spanish. It means "to like" but unless you use it correctly you might say something totally different from what you mean. I'll explain. Look at these sentences:|
Amar = to love
amo = I love you
te acompaño = I accompany you
te adoro = I adore you
te cuido = I look after you
OK. How do you say "I like you" in Spanish with "gustar"?
If you said "te gusto" you are wrong, because "te gusto" means "you like me".
This is because "gustar" belongs to a group of verbs that seem to be back to front
If you get confused with the verb "gustar" it is better to consider that it means
So to say "I like you" consider it as "to me - you are pleasing"
then it is easier to work out how to say:
I like you - me gustas
I like it - me gusta
I like them - me gustan
I like her - me gusta
I don't like them - no me gustan.
Do you like them - ¿te gustan?
Does she like it? - ¿le gusta?
Do you like it? (plural) - ¿os gusta?
We like this hotel - Nos gusta este hotel.
|Do you like the book?||¿Te gusta el libro?|
|Did you like the book?||¿Te gustó el libro?|
|I don't like dogs at all.||No me gustan nada los perros.|
|I like the way she smiles.||Me gusta como sonríe.|
I don't like you going out with them.
|No me gusta que salgas con ellos.|
|Position of thewords:
Note that the position is quite flexible and the thing that is liked can come before or after:
|I like Sarah||Sarah me gusta or me gusta Sarah|
|I like her||Ella me gusta or me gusta ella.|
|Making the 3rdperson clear
If you say "le gusta el chocolate" it is not clear if you mean "she likes chocolate" or "he likes chocolate". If you want to make it clear, you can add "a ella" or "a él" either before or after.
Note that the "a" comes before "the person doing the liking" Not the "thing liked".
|He likes brandy||"A él le gusta el cognac" or "Le gusta a él el cognac"|
|She likes beer||A ella le gusta la cerveza.|
|I think that Juan likes María||Creo que a Juan le gusta María|
Here are a few more examples of "back to front verbs". None of them are as difficult to get your head round as "gustar"
molestar (to bother), horrorizar (to horrify, to appall), hacer gracia (to be funny to someone), caer bien/mal (to get on well/badly with), doler (to hurt), importar (to mind, to care about), encantar (to like very much, be delighted by), interesar (to be interested in), hacer falta (to need for a purpose, to be necessary)
|Does it bother you if I smoke?||¿Te molesta si fumo?|
|What bothers meis his attitude.||Lo que me molestaes su actitud.|
|It's funny youshould say that.||Me hace graciaque digas eso.|
|I don't think it'sfunny at all.||No me hace ningunagracia.|
|My feet ache.||Me duelen los pies.|
|He's got a headache(his head hurts).||Le duele la cabeza.|
|What's it to you?(said: in a bad tempered way when someone is being nosey)||¿A ti qué te importa?|
|I couldn't careless what they say.||Me importa (unbledo) lo que dicen.|
|Wound you mindleaving it until tomorrow?||¿Te importaríadejarlo para mañana?|
|I really like it.(it's delightful)||Me encanta.|
|I am not interestedin politics at all.||No me interesala política en absoluto.|
|It's not necessaryto write a long letter.||No hace faltaque escribas una carta larga.|
|You don't haveto be a genius to know who said that.||No hace faltaser un genio para saber quién dijo eso.|
|I get on very wellwith your cousin.||Tu primo me caemuy bien.|
|I’m appalled athow badly those children behave.||Me horroriza lomal que se portan esos niños.|