Using verbs like GUSTAR in Spanish

Today post is about how we express what things we like and do not like and other verbs like gustar in Spanish. From the very first lessons in your Spanish learning you study the verb GUSTAR, but why is so special that we dedicate a whole post? Well, Spanish verb GUSTAR is conjugated differently than other regular -ar verbs. It is not conjugated in relation with the direct object, that works as a subject in the sentence. (Don’t panic!) 🙂 That means in Spanish the verb GUSTAR depends on “what you like” and not on the person who likes.

So there is only two possible conjugations for gustar when we talk about things we like: singular o plural. Examples:

– Me gusta el verano.

– Me gustan las playas.

This is a painting of Sorolla, one of the best Impressionist painters in Spain.

Instead of thinking in GUSTAR as “I like this or that…” we have to get it more like “something is pleasing to me”. So “el verano” and “las playas” which are apparently direct objects in the sentence, are in fact the subjects. To here everything is easy, right?

Lets go for the next step. What is “ME” in those sentences? Well, me is an indirect object pronoun referred to myself (in this case “me” is first person in Spanish). In sentences with Gustar and other verbs that works like it, people who apparently are the subjects are in fact the Indirect object. Again understanding verb GUSTAR as “something is pleasing to someone”. Lets see a box that help us to understand this point:


Please do not mix up these Indirect Object Pronouns with the Reflexive Pronouns like “ella se levanta” (she wakes up).

An example of short dialogues:

– A mí me gustan las playas del norte de España. ¿Y a ti?
– A mí también, ¡me encanta el verano!

– A nosotros nos gusta la montaña. ¿Y a vosotros?
Nos gustan los Pirineos y las playas del sur. 

As we see in these dialogues, first column of the box it is only used when we want to emphasise the Indirect Objects. But with the pronouns is enough. 🙂

When the thing liked is not a thing but an action we use always singular:

Me gusta comer en España.

Nos gusta estudiar idiomas.

Other verbs that works like “gustar”

As you can see in the box, there are many verbs that works like verb GUSTAR:

Encantar: To love something
¡Me encanta el verano!
Interesar:  To be interested in something
Me interesan los deportes.
Parecer interesante: To find something interesting
Me parece interesante la acupuntura. 

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Happy summer to everyone.

¡Feliz verano!

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