How to use Verbs like Gustar in Spanish

Early on when you are studying Spanish, you probably learned the phrase “me gusta”.  Me gusta this, me gusta that.  While you are somewhat correct that it means “I like this, I like that”, it would be more correct to say “This is pleasing to me, that is pleasing to me”.  That is why the verb conjugates differently than say “comer”.

Let’s have a look and dissect the verb Gustar (to like) and the several others that are similar to it.

In English the verb “like” is used as follows:

  • I like Spanish class.
  • You like flowers.

But Spanish is different. The verb “gustar” in Spanish depends on “what you like” and not the person who likes”

  • Me gusta la clase de español.
  • Te gustan las flores.

As you can see, the verb is conjugated according to the noun not the person.  In the first sentence there is “gusta” because the noun is “la clase” thus is singular.  The second sentence uses “gustan” because the noun is “las flores” and is plural.  The form of gustar and the noun have to agree with each other.

Additionally, “Gustar” is preceded by an indirect object pronoun (me / te etc.). This indicates that the person is performing the action (of liking).


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