Back to school sale Save 20% on Premium annual »

Inverted verbs like gustar

Verbs that operate like gustar


encantar to love
interesar to be interested in
molestar to bother
apasionar to be passionate about
fascinar to be fascinated by, with
doler to be painful
parecer to seem
quedar to remain
aburrir to bore
faltar to be lacking something
preocupar to be worried about
importar to be important
entretener to entertain
bastar to be sufficient
costar to be difficult
picar to itch
caer bien to like [someone]
caer mal to dislike [someone]
disgustar to disgust
dar asco to disgust
chiflar to really like
volver loco to really really like
tocar to be someone's turn
enganchar to get hooked [by something]

Q&A Forum 1 question, 4 answers

GarryA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Is there any "history" as to why these verbs are "inverted" as: "you are liked by me" instead of "I like you"?

Asked 2 years ago
InmaKwiziq team member

I am not sure about the origin of these structures in Spanish but there is this theory explained here that could be the reason why they started



GarryA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks Inma,

You are a wealth of information and while the "theory" doesn't make it any easier to learn all of the backwards verbs it helps to understand them. Now, does the term "backwards verbs" in any way relate to reflexive verbs"?

InmaKwiziq team member

No Garry. The "backwards verbs" (gustar, encantar, interesar, etc) are not reflexive verbs. Reflexive verbs are those that use a reflexive pronoun (me, te, se, nos, os, se). With a reflexive verb, the subject and the object are the same; the subject performs an action on himself/herself. Lots of verbs about routine are reflexive: "Me lavo" (I wash MYSELF), "Se ducha" (He showers HIMSELF).

Verbs like gustar or encantar are NOT reflexive. These verbs are intransitive verbs and the pronouns they use are not reflexive, but indirect object pronouns. For example:

"Me gusta la paella" --> Paella pleases ME. (me = indirect object pronoun)

"Le encanta el cine" --> Cinema pleases HIM/HER (le = indirect object pronoun)



GarryA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks, Inma

Clear, concise, educational.


Is there any "history" as to why these verbs are "inverted" as: "you are liked by me" instead of "I like you"?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Getting that for you now...