GUSTAR doesn’t work like other verbs. Well it does, in that it conjugates / changes to fit who, or whatever is doing it.
The first thing to learn about GUSTAR is that it doesn’t mean ‘to like’. It means ‘to be pleasing’, so when in English we say, ‘I like it’, in Spanish we’re really saying ‘it’s pleasing to me’ … or ‘to me it’s pleasing’ because of the way it’s said – me gusta. Me = to me, gusta = it’s pleasing.
Although gusto, gustas, gusta, gustamos, gustáis & gustan all exist – the good news is that we only really need to use gusta – it’s pleasing, & gustan – they’re pleasing. So that should mean it’s easier than other verbs!
The first thing we need to learn is how to say, ‘to me’ & so on. These little words are called ‘pronouns’.
When first learning to use these gustar-type verbs, the temptation is to make the verb fit the person to whom the verb is being done, rather than who, or what is doing the verb. I teach my students to imagine, or even actually draw, a line between the pronoun – the person – & the verb.
Then we have to decide if we need ‘gusta’ or ‘gustan’. That’s a simple decision.
Gustar = it’s pleasing, so we use it with a singular noun/thing, or an action – a verb.
Gustan = they’re pleasing, so we use it with plural nouns / things.
When first learning, it’s best to keep the different elements in the order as shown below. Of course, the first column isn’t always necessary, but if we need to explain who te, le etc. refers to, it’s easiest to say that first.
The ‘personal A’ needs to be used before names, because the verb is being done to the person.
The table below shows negatives
Here are some other verbs which act like GUSTAR. There are many others!
|aburrir||to bore||faltar||to be lacking|
|agradar||to please||fascinar||to fascinate|
|alegrar||to gladden||fastidiar||to annoy|
|apasionar||to love||gustar||to please|
|apetecer||to feel like||dar asco||to REALLY disgust|
|atraer||to attract||importar||to matter|
|bastar||to be enough||interesar||to interest|
|caber||to fit, to fill||molestar||to bother|
|convenir||to be better for||parecer||to appear to be|
|corresponder||to be responsible for||picar||to itch|
|costar||to cost||preocupar||to worry|
|volver loco||make crazy||quedar||to remain|
|doler||to hurt||repugnar||to repulse / disgust|
|encantar||to delight||sobrar||to be left over|
|extrañar||to surprise||tocar||to be responsible for|