Gustar explained with simple Steps

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How to Conjugate Gustar

Gustar is a verb. Although the literal translation is “something is pleasing to you or to someone else”, Gustar is used to talk about things that you or someone likes. Keeping in mind the literal translation of gustar will help you understand that you are not the one performing the action therefore we have to use what we call indirect object pronouns.  Remember: something is pleasing to you. 

Indirect Object pronouns (me, te, le, nos, os, les) are used instead of Subject Pronouns to show who is receiving the action of the verb. In this case something is pleasing you therefore you are receiving the action of the verb. This is something that is important to remember but don’t get too caught up on this. Eventually it will become natural. 

The verb gustar has two forms.

Gusta is used for when what you like is singular. For example: pizza (one pizza). 

Gustan is used for when what you like is plural. For example: fruits (multiple fruits).

Spanish Gustar video lesson

Gustar

Gustar = something is pleasing to me or someone else. It is used to talk about things that you or someone likes. 

Since we are not the one performing the action and instead something is pleasing to us, we have to use indirect object pronouns. Please DO NOT use Subject Pronouns. You must use Indirect Object Pronouns with Gustar. 

Let’s take a quick look at how to use indirect object pronouns with gustar. 

If you want to say something is pleasing to me, you will use the indirect object pronoun me

If you wan to say something is pleasing to you, you will use the indirect object pronoun te

If you wan to say something is pleasing to him/her/you formal (Ud.), you will use the indirect object pronoun le

If you want to say something is pleasing to us, you will use the indirect object pronoun nos

If you want to say something is pleasing to you guys in Spain (vosotros), you will use the indirect object pronoun os

If you wan to say something is pleasing to them (ellos/ellas/uds), you will use the indirect object pronoun les

Take a look at this chart. I provided the Subject Pronouns only as reference so you can see who is receiving the action but remember to ONLY use indirect object pronouns with the verb gustar. You do have to memorize the indirect object pronouns so you can use the verb gustar with ease. The more you practice, the easier and more natural it will become. 

There are only 2 forms for the verb gustar. 

Gusta: for when what you like is singular. 

Gustan: for when what you like is plural. 

What does that mean? It’s simple. Ask yourself, is what I like (one thing) or (multiple things)? 

Example(s):

Indirect Object Pronoun

Gustar (Verb)

Object

Me

gusta

la pizza.

Me

gustan

las pizzas.

Te

gusta

el helado.

Te

gustan

los helados.

Things to remember:

The indirect object pronoun (me, te, le, nos, os, les) is based on the person receiving the action. (Hint: the person that likes something).

The form of gustar is going to depend on the number of items we like. Is it ONE ice cream (gusta) or MULTIPLE ice creams (gustan)? 

Gusta for singular and gustan for plural. 

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

If I want to say I like pizza (or pizza is pleasing to me),  I will first start with the indirect object pronoun Me. Then, add gusta because we are talking about ONE pizza. The result will be: Me gusta la pizza. 

If I want to say I like I like pizzas (or pizzas are pleasing to me), I will still start with the indirect object pronoun Me since we are still talking about me. Then, add gustan because pizzas includes multiple items. The result will be: Me gustan las pizzas. 

Here is another example:

If I want to say you like ice cream (or ice cream is pleasing to you), I will first start with the indirect object pronoun Te since we are talking about you. Then, add gusta because we are talking about ONE ice cream. The result will be: Te gusta el helado. 

If I want to say you like ice creams (or ice creams are pleasing to you), I will first start with the indirect object pronoun Te since we are talking about you. Then, add gustan because we are talking about multiple ice creams. The result will be: Te gustan los helados. 

Your turn:

Indirect Object Pronoun

Gustar (Verb)

Object

Le

 

la manzana.

Nos

 

las manzanas.

Me

 

la galleta.

Les

 

las galletas.

DEEP DIVE!

To add emphasis to your sentences, you can use prepositional phrases. They are not required but many Spanish speakers use them therefore it is useful to know them. 

What are prepositional phrases?

Prepositional Phrases

Indirect Object Pronoun

Gustar (verb)

A mí

me

gusta.

A ti

te

gusta.

A él, ella, Ud.

le

gusta.

A nosotros(as)

nos

gustan.

A vosotros(as)

os

gustan.

A ellos, ellas, Uds.

les

gustan.

Example: You could say: Me gusta el helado but, to add emphasis you would say: A mí me gusta el helado

Your turn:

Prepositional Phrases

Indirect Object Pronoun

Gustar (verb)

Object

A mí

 

gusta

el helado.

 

te

gusta

la manzana.

A él, ella, Ud.

le

 

la pizza.

A nosotros(as)

nos

 

las galletas.

A vosotros(as)

 

gustan

los helados.

A ellos, ellas, Uds.

les

  

How do you say that you don’t like something or that something is not pleasing to you?

All you have to do is add ‘no’ in front of the Indirect Object Pronoun (me, te, le, nos, os, les).

Negative Gustar (NO)

Indirect Object Pronoun

Gustar (Verb)

Object

No

me

gusta

el helado.

No

nos

gustan

las galletas.

For example: 

No me gustan las galletas. I don’t like cookies. 

A Mariana no le gusta el pescado. Mariana doesn’t like fish. 

No nos gusta el jugo de naranja. We don’t like orange juice. 

How you do answer a question based on like or what is pleasing to me or others?

  • When answering a question, you have to say whether the answer is yes or no.
  • If there is a negative answer (don’t like) then you would need two nos; one no to answer the question the other no to make gustar in the negative.

Example(s): ¿Te gusta la(s) tarea(s)? 

Sí me gusta la tarea. 

No, no me gustan las tareas. 

You try: ¿Te gusta la(s) manzana(s)?

Yes or No

Negative Gustar (NO)

Indirect Object Pronoun

Gustar (Verb)

Object

Sí,

 

me

gusta

la manzana.

No,

no

nos

gustan

las manzanas.

 

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