“I like it!” “I don’t like that!” Children express what they like and don’t like many times every day. It is an important part of establishing their identity. You can teach them to communicate these ideas in Spanish.
Gustar is the verb that is used in Spanish to express the idea of liking something. Gustar uses a different grammatical structure than many verbs, but children quickly understand and use this common Spanish verb. For more information on the grammar of gustar, see As a Rule…Expressing “to like” with gustar.
Me gusta… – I like …
Me gusta la música. I like music.
Te gusta… – You like…
Te gusta el libro. You like the book.
¿Te gusta…? – Do you like…?
¿Te gusta el perro? Do you like the dog?
If you are talking about something plural, the verb form will be gustan.
Me gustan los perros. I like dogs.
Te gustan mis gatos. You like my cats.
¿Te gustan las uvas? Do you like grapes?
Gustar can be used with other verbs to talk to your child in Spanish about what you are doing.
Me gusta + verb…. – I like to…
Me gustar correr. I like to run.
Te gusta + verb… – You like to…
Te gusta leer. You like to read.
¿Te gusta + verb…? (said as a question) – Do you like to…?
¿Te gusta dibujar? Do you like to draw?
Use gustar with your child to model this common Spanish structure. Try it in situations like these:
Talk about the food at the table:
Me gusta la ensalada. I like salad.
¿Te gusta el arroz? Do you like rice?
Me gusta comer contigo. I like to eat with you.
Listen to music in the car:
¿Te gusta la música ? ¡Me gusta mucho! Do you like the music? I like it a lot!
Me gusta cantar. I like to sing.
Talk about things you see and do outside:
Me gustan las flores. I like the flowers.
¿Te gustan los pájaros? Do you like the birds?
Me gusta correr. I like to run.
Talk about objects and colors in picture books:
¡Me gusta el gato! ¿Te gusta también? I like the cat! Do you like it too?
Me gustan las estrellas. I like the stars.
¿Te gusta la casa roja? Do you like the red house.
Using gustar in situations like these will let your child hear the structure of this important Spanish verb. Hearing how it is used in context, she will soon understand it, and that is the first step to learning to speak Spanish. ¿Te gusta el español? ¡A mí me gusta mucho!