Using gustar to say you like something

In Spanish, to express like or dislike we use the verb gustar. 
It works differently to the way it is expressed in English.

Have a look and listen to this example:

Me gusta el chocolate.
I like chocolate.

Notice how in English it is a straightforward sentence:

Subject (I) + verb (like) + what is liked (chocolate)

In Spanish however the order is different. If we translate it literally we would say: Chocolate pleases me,  with chocolate being the subject of the sentence.

If what the person likes is plural, then you need to add an -n to the verb:

Me gustan los plátanos.
I like bananas.

 Have a look at these tables:

Me gusta (I like)                   +   [singular noun]     
Te gusta   (You like)             +   [singular noun]
Me gustan (I like)             +   [plural noun]
Te gustan (You like)       +   [plural noun]

Notice that in Spanish we use definite articles with the thing/s that one likes, unless you are talking about a place or a person. 

Me gusta Barcelona.
I like Barcelona.

Te gustan las manzanas.
You like apples.

If you want to ask someone whether he/she likes something, just remember to add the question marks and change the intonation.

Have a look and listen to this example:

¿Te gusta la Navidad?
Do you like Christmas?

The answer can be positive or negative:

, me gusta la Navidad.
Yes, I like Christmas.

No, no me gusta la Navidad.
No, I do not like Christmas.

Notice how in the negative answer we have added a  no at the beginning of the sentence.

Here are other negative answers as examples:

No, no me gusta la paella.
No, I do not like paella.

No me gustan las verduras.
I do not like vegetables.

No te gusta la profesora de historia.
You do not like the History teacher.

See also Using gustar + verb to say like [doing something]

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Me gusta el chocolate.
I like chocolate.


No te gusta la profesora de historia.
You do not like the History teacher.


No te gusta la casa.
You do not like the house.


No, no me gusta la paella.
No, I do not like paella.


No me gustan las verduras.
I do not like vegetables.


¿Te gusta el té?
Do you like tea?


, me gusta la Navidad.
Yes, I like Christmas.


Te gustan las manzanas.
You like apples.


Me gustan los plátanos.
I like bananas.


¿Te gusta la Navidad?
Do you like Christmas?


Me gusta Barcelona.
I like Barcelona.


Te gusta la casa.
You like the house.


No, no me gusta la Navidad.
No, I do not like Christmas.


No me gustan los churros.
I do not like churros.


Q&A Forum 5 questions, 11 answers

Thank you!

Thank you!  I also found a very good website for pronunciation, listed by diphthongs, etc at:

https://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/diphthongs_and_triphthongs

which might be useful.

Nicole

Asked 4 days ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

¡Gracias Nicole!

Thank you!

Thank you!  I also found a very good website for pronunciation, listed by diphthongs, etc at:

https://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/diphthongs_and_triphthongs

which might be useful.

Nicole

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Re Paella

Re: Sentence above: 

No, no me gusta la paella.No, I do not like paella.

In the lesson above, I was surprised to hear how the word "paella" was pronounced.  I had never heard that pronunciation.  My question is, are the letters "ae" considered a diphthong, and if so, what would be its pronunciation?

Thank you and wishing you a great day!

Nicole

Asked 2 weeks ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Nicole

Paella has 3 syllables: pa-e-lla because "ae" forms a Spanish hiatus. This separates the vowels into two separate syllables. I am not quite sure what you mean when you say you've never heard it pronounced like in the audio. This word for English speakers is quite difficult generally and you often hear the wrong pronunciation, for example I often hear this from students: [pie - ella].

Always remember that in Spanish all vowels are pronounced,  independently of whether they form diphthongs or not. 

Un saludo

Inma

Hola Inma,

Thank you for your reply. I really liked your note at the end, which is very helpful. 

1-The way she pronounces "paella" it's more like a diphthong sound, i.e." pa-ya", and not the usual way I have heard it, or how I learned to pronounce it, i.e. "pa-e-lla" .  Are we putting too much emphasis on the vowels or is it pronounced like that in Spain? (Or are my ears not atuned)

2- RE: "Always remember that in Spanish all vowels are pronounced,  independently of whether they form diphthongs or not."

I assume this includes triphthongs ?

 

 

 

 

I don't know if this will help, but the pronunciation website forvo has a lot of different recordings of paella from Spain and all over Latin America.

https://forvo.com/word/paella/#es

 

InmaKwiziq language super star

Actually, we realised that the automated voice used in that specific example wasn't great so I changed it to another one where it is more realistic: pa-e-lla. I think it is clear now that there are two vowels there: a + e

As per tripthongs in Spanish, the same applies, we pronounce all the vowels. It is common to find triphthongs in the vosotros  conjugation in the present, for example. Here are some of them:

estudiáis

cambiáis

copiáis

Saludos

Inma

Re Paella

Re: Sentence above: 

No, no me gusta la paella.No, I do not like paella.

In the lesson above, I was surprised to hear how the word "paella" was pronounced.  I had never heard that pronunciation.  My question is, are the letters "ae" considered a diphthong, and if so, what would be its pronunciation?

Thank you and wishing you a great day!

Nicole

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Definitive article - in or out

Buenas team,

Just to confirm - we say: me gusta el chocolate, and we also say me gusta comer chocolate?

We don't say me gusta comer el chocolate?

The definite article is always removed when we have the verb there?

Muchisimas gracias,

Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Stuart

Have a look at these two similar sentences:

"Me gusta comer pan" (I like eating bread- [in general])

"Me gusta comer (el) pan con un poco de mantequilla y mermelada." (I like eating bread with a bit of butter and jam.- [more specific])

On the second one where the speaker is being a bit more specific about how he/she likes eating bread, you can use the article or omit it. 

In the first one where the speaker is talking more in general, we don't use the article.

Here is another example with a different verb:

"Me encanta leer libros"

"Me encanta leer (los) libros que cuentan aventuras"

Hope it is useful

Saludos

Inma

Lovely, cheers Inma!

Definitive article - in or out

Buenas team,

Just to confirm - we say: me gusta el chocolate, and we also say me gusta comer chocolate?

We don't say me gusta comer el chocolate?

The definite article is always removed when we have the verb there?

Muchisimas gracias,

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Me gusta el chocolate. I like chocolate

can you turn this around and say "El chocolate me gusta."
Asked 8 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Else,

Yes you can. It is more common to leave the subject at the end with "me gusta" but you can invert it. When you invert it, "El chocolate me gusta" you give a bit of emphasis to "what you like".

Un saludo

Inma

Thanks!

Me gusta el chocolate. I like chocolate

can you turn this around and say "El chocolate me gusta."

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Maths? Not math?

Asked 3 years ago
That's British English (Maths) compared with American English (Math)
Thank you!

Maths? Not math?

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