Spanish Grammar Rules

Gustar is a verb that confuses many English speakers at the beginning. Gustar is used to say like in Spanish. But unfortunately the conjugation rules (the way you change the verb) are a little different from normal verbs.

In English you would say I LIKE but in Spanish you would NOT say yo gusto (incorrect).

In Spanish you would say ME GUSTA or ME GUSTAN.

Why is this? Because instead of directly meaning like, it actually means that something is pleasing for you.

When do you use Gusta or Gustan?

Knowing whether to use Gusta or Gustan depends on the words that come after it (the things that you like).

If you want to say that you like doing something, then you use Gusta + Infinitive (verb)

BUT when we talk about liking things, then we use GUSTA if that thing is in singular form

We use GUSTAN if we like something that is in plural form

A mí, A tí, A él...

You will notice that many times we have the prepositional phrase A + mí (or tí etc.) before the me gusta (o te gusta etc.). This is sometimes used to give more emphasis about the person who is liking the thing but also to clarify when they may be a doubt about who that person is.

For example if we say Le gusta comer, we don't know if the person who likes to eat is a man, a woman or even you. So to clarify we had the prepositional phrase A + él (or ella, usted). Compare the difference:

Negative Sentences using GUSTAR

Making a negative sentence with the verb gustar is simple. You just add NO between the prepositional phrase A + mí (or tí etc.) and the Indirect Object Pronoun (me, te, le etc.)

Gustar Summary chart

Gustar in Spanish - Sentence Structure and Word Order

Other verbs like Gustar

There are other verbs that use the same formula as Gustar. These include the verbs: doler, encantar, faltar, interesar, molestar, quedar (and others)

Next Activities

Try our interactive game about Gusta vs Gustan and Indirecto Object Pronoun + Gustar

Spanish Teachers and Parents

Verb Gustar Reading Passage with worksheets to practice this verb Gusta vs. Gustan - Spanish Task Cards

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