Last week we started learning the rules and peculiarities of using the Spanish verb GUSTAR. We found out that it is used to speak about the things someone likes, or rather, the things that please someone. We learned that the thing that is pleasing becomes the subject of the sentence, while the one whom it pleases is referred to with the help of an indirect object pronoun. You can brush up on last week’s grammar here and below with the help of these examples:
Who likes it: he or she?
If you take a look at this table with indirect object pronouns, you’ll notice that there is no distinction between 3rd person singular indirect object pronouns (él/ella) – it’s le for both. The same can be observed for ellos/ellas forms – their common indirect object pronoun is les. But what if it is not immediately obvious whom a thing is pleasing? The solution is to rely on a prepositional construction:
a + pronoun/noun/name + indirect object pronoun + gustar + subject
- He likes his new sweater. – A él le gusta su suéter nueve.
- Women like completely different things. – A mujeres les gustan las cosas totalemente differentes.
- Joseph likes chocolate cake. – A José le gusta el pastel de chocolate.
Even if there is no dubiousness, you can still rely on the “a+pronoun/noun/name” structure to emphasize WHO likes the thing in question:
- Joseph likes chocolate cake and I like strawberry cake. – A José le gusta el pastel de chocolate y a mí me gusta el pastel de fresa.
However, you need to bear in mind that the 1st and 2nd person singular pronouns you are going to place after a will be different from the corresponding personal pronouns:
- Yo – a mí
- Tú – a ti
In all the other persons and numbers, personal pronouns will be used.
More Verbs Like Gustar
Now that you know how to correctly use the verb gustar, here is a list of verbs that operate in the same manner:
aburrir – to bore
- Me aburre tu charla tanta. – I’m bored by your constant chatter.
bastar – to be sufficient
- ¿No te basta mi amor? – Isn’t my love enough for you?
caer bien (mal) – to (not) suit
- Necesitas quitarte este vestido – te cae mal. – You need to get rid of this dress – it doesn’t suit you.
dar asco – to be loathsome
- ¡Esa vajilla sucia me da asco! – I think these dirty dishes are disgusting!
disgustar – to hate something
- A ella le disgusta fregar el piso. – She hates scrubbing the floor.
doler – to be painful
- A Maria le duele un poco la cabeza. – Maria has a slight headache.
encantar – to “love” something
- Me encanta viajar, conocer gente de otras culturas y estudiar idiomas extranjeros. – I lllove traveling, meeting people from other cultures, and learning foreign languages.
faltar – to be lacking something
- Querríamos cocinar un pan de plátano, pero nos falta harina. – We want to bake banana bread, but we are short of flour.
fascinar – to be fascinating to
- A él le fascina tus rizos rojos. – He is fascinated by your ginger curls.
importer – to be important to
- Tus hujas te importan al máximo, ¿no? – Your daughters are the most important thing to you, aren’t they?
interesar – to be interesting to
- Asuntos ambientales son un tema que nos interesa profundamente. – Environmental issues are a topic that we are deeply interested in.
molestar – to be a bother
- No podemos dormir porque nos molesta el ladrido nocturno del perro de nuestro vecino. – We can't sleep because the nighttime barking of our neighbor's dog bothers us.
parecer – to appear to be
- Me parece que a Juan le atraes. – It seems to me that John has a thing for you.
picar – to itch
- ¿Por qué me pica el cuero cabelludo? – Why is my scalp itchy?
quedar – to be left over, remain
- Sólo me quedan 3 días para completar mi tesis. – I only have 3 days left to complete my thesis.
volver loco - to drive crazy (mad)
- ¡Mi hijo de catorce años me vuelve loco¡ - My fourteen-year-old son is driving me mad!
And now, let’s start quizzing your newly acquired knowledge!