¿Me gusta o me gustan?

Hello everybody!

This time I’m going to explain the grammar in “me gusta” and similar verbs. I’m sure you all know “me gusta” means I like, and you may have noticed that the grammar is not the same. In English, I like something, and what I like, is an object. In Spanish is the opposite way: the subject produces a feeling on somebody, who is the object.

Let’s see an example:

“Me gusta mucho el cine”: “el cine” is the subject, which produces a good reaction on the somebody (“me”), who is the object in the sentence.

That’s why we sometimes can say “me gustan” in plural, instead of singular. It depends on the subject, as they must agree. For example:

“Me gusta tu coche”: we use the singular because we are talking about one only car, yours.

“Me gustan los coches”: we need to use the plural as we are talking about cars in a general way.

We always need to add the object pronoun to the sentence (me, te, le, nos, os, les), right before the verb, it is mandatory. But sometimes we can also add more information before that, always with the structure “a + noun/pronoun”. For example:

“A mí no me gustan las verduras”: we use “a mí” to emphasize that some people may like vegetables, but I don’t like them personally. Note as well that, if we want to say the negative form, we only need to add “no” before the pronoun.

“A Marta le gusta la universidad”: we add the name of Marta to specify who likes university. When we use the third person, it may be ambiguous, so it’s better to give some more information about the person.

But using the structure “a + noun/pronoun” doesn’t mean we can omit the object pronoun; as I said before, it is mandatory.

“*A Marta gusta la Universidad”: it is a mistake, as we need to add “le” (object pronoun) before “gusta”.

There are many other verbs that are conjugated like this in Spanish. Some of them are: fascinar, interesar, preocupar, encantar…

“Me encanta ir al parque los domingos”.

And there are also some other verbs using a similar structure where the person is indirect object, not direct. For example:

“Me dan miedo las arañas”: this sentence means I’m afraid of spiders, where “las arañas” is the subject, “miedo” is direct object and “me” indirect object. This verb works the same way than “gustar”, but using two different objects.

Other verbs with this structure are: dar vergüenza, dar pena, parecer bien, parecer mal, quedar bien, caer bien…

Can you make a sentence with some of them? 

If you liked it, please share it, and if you would like to learn Spanish with me, contact me for a free trial lesson!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Publicado en Grammar.

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