Expressing "to like" with gustar

As a rule, it is best to provide children with models of correct Spanish through contact with native speakers, books, audio books, video, and music. With sufficient exposure to Spanish, they will learn the structures of the language. They do not need grammar explanations.

Adults, however, often appreciate some information about grammar.  The explanations on this site are very general and brief.  If you are interested in learning more about Spanish grammar, there are many excellent websites with detailed explanations and practice.

Gustar

The English verb “to like” is expressed in Spanish with the verb gustar.  However, the structure of gustar is the same as “to be pleasing (to someone).” The “someone” is always indicated with one of the following indirect object pronouns:

me (to me)

te (to you)

le (to him, to her)

nos (to us)

les (to them, to you all– plural)

Me gusta  (It is pleasing to me. )   I like it.
Te gusta  (It is pleasing to you.)   You like it.
Le gusta  (It is pleasing to him/her.)  He/She likes it
Nos gusta  (It is pleasing to us. )  We like it.
Les gusta  (It is pleasing to them.)  They like it.

If you include names or nouns in the sentence (Tom likes…, The girl likes…), you must put “a” before the name or the noun:

A Tom le gusta el verano.   Tom likes summer.
A la niña le gusta la lluvia.     The girl likes rain.

Examples:

Me gusta trabajar.     I like to work.

¿Te gusta la leche?  Sí, me gusta.     Do you like milk?   Yes, I like it.

A Ana le gusta leer.     Ana likes to read.

Nos gusta el gato.     We like the cat.

A los niños no les gusta la lluvia.     The children don’t like the rain.

Use gustan if more than one thing is liked like by someone.

Me gustan.   (They are pleasing to me.)    I like them.

Me gustan los caballos.     I like horses.

¿Te gustan los zapatos?  No, me gustan.     Do you like the shoes?  No, I don’t like them.

¿A tu hermano le gustan los perros?.  Sí, le gustan.     Does your brother like dogs?  Yes, he likes them.

A los estudiantes les gustan los libros.     The students like the books.

Other common verbs in Spanish have the same structure. In text books these verbs are commonly referred to as “verbs like gustar.”  They will all be used with the same pronouns (me, te, le, nos, les). These verbs include:

encantar (to love something)       Me encanta el invierno.     I love winter.

fascinar  (to fascinate)      Nos fascinan las estrellas.     The stars fascinate us.

interesar (interest)     No les interesa ese libro.     That book doesn’t interest them.

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