"To like" in Spanish
In Spanish, to express like or dislike we use the verb gustar.
This works differently to the way it's expressed in English.
For how to say "I like" and "You like" see Using gustar in Spanish to say you like something
This lesson will teach you how to say:
"He likes", "She likes", "You [formal] like", "We like", "You [plural] like" and "They like".
Have a look at this table:
||(He likes / She likes / You [formal] like)
||(You [pl] like)
||(They like / You [formal plural] like)
Notice how for he likes, she likes and you [formal] like, we use the same pronoun "le".
Here are some examples:
Le gusta la jardinería.He/she/you [formal] like/s gardening.
Le gusta el pescado.He/she likes fish.
Le gustan las matemáticas.He/she/you [formal] like/s maths.
Nos gustan las aventuras.We like adventures.
¿Os gusta la sopa de verduras?Do you like vegetable soup?
Les gusta la chica alta.They/you [ustedes] like the tall girl.
- we use the definite article with the thing/s that one likes, unless we're talking about a place or a specific person, e.g. "Nos gustan las matemáticas."
not "Nos gustan matemáticas."
not "Le gusta la Carmen."
- we use "gusta" when what someone likes is singular, and "gustan" when it's plural, e.g. "Le gusta la jardinería" but "Le gustan los plátanos."
In order to either clarify who we are talking about or emphasise who is liking something, we can add extra pronouns with "a" in front:
These extra pronouns can be added at the beginning of the sentence if there is a need to clarify or emphasise who likes something:
A él le gusta el atletismo y a ella le gusta la gimnasia.He likes athletics and she likes gymnastics.
-¿Os gusta el té? -No, a nosotras nos gusta el café.-Do you like tea? -No, we like coffee.
When these pronouns are added, remember: you cannot omit the "short" ones.
It would be incorrect to say:
"A nosotras gusta el café."
"A ellos gustan las manzanas."
Careful! it is a common mistake to use the reflexive pronoun "se" instead of "le", e.g "Se gusta mucho el chocolate". Remember that the pronouns used with gusta/-n are not reflexive pronouns; they are indirect object pronouns.
See also Using gustar in Spanish to say you like something
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