Like and dislike in Spanish: GUSTAR
Expressing likes and dislikes can be a little bit tricky for English speakers, we use the verb gustar. Let’s see how it works.
1. Gustar literally means to please and the thing that is liked is the subject of the verb. So if that thing is singular, you use gusta; if it is plural, you use gustan. The pronoun before the verb indicates the person or animal that does the liking:
Me gusta el gazpacho I like gazpacho
Nos gusta el vino tinto We like red wine
Te gustan las naranjas You like oranges
2. Gustar can also be followed by a verb, in which case you use gusta + infinitive
Me gusta comer marisco I like to eat seafood
Le gusta beber sangría He likes drinking sangría
3. To express dislikes, just put no in front:
No me gusta el café I don’t like coffee
No te gustan las galletas You don’t like biscuits
4. Gustar works like to please, so the subject of the sentence is what you like, while “the person” is the indirect object (Chocolat is pleasing to me: Me gusta el chocolate), notice that in Spanish the sentence is written backward. So in these sentences, we have to use obligatory an indirect object pronoun.
(*) “Vosotros” is used only in Spain, in America, it is preferred “les gusta/gustan“.
5. When you love doing something, you say Me encanta… or Me encantan… Encantar follows the same rules as gustar, so the verbs agree with the thing you love:
Me encanta la comida española I love Spanish food
Me encantan los vinos de Rioja I love Rioja wines
6. There are many other verbs like gustar and encantar. (Click to discover some of them).
7. All the examples given above are in the third person singular and plural as these are by far the most common. However, it is also possible to use this verb in other forms.
Creo que le gustas (I think he likes you).
But be careful because in this case means to have a romantic feeling.
8. You can use gustar in other theses in Spanish:
Les gustó la fiesta (the liked the party).
Te va a gustar la película (You will like the film).
Les han gustado mucho los cuadros (They really liked the painting).
Me gustaría comprar una casa (I would like to buy a house).
Verb GUSTAR exercises and practice
You can also see how gustar works in context by watching the video “me gusta bailar” or listening to the podcast “¿Qué le gusta?
Now you can practice everything you have learned about GUSTAR to like in Spanish with the quiz below, and remember you can contact your tutor for any question you have. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?