Verbs like “gustar” in Spanish

Welcome to our grammar lesson about other verbs like “gustar” in Spanish.

The verb “gustar” means “to be pleasing”.

What’s interesting about this verb, is that it produces a particular sentence structure. The Spanish learner should study that structure, already explained in our lesson about “gustar”.

Review our lesson about “gustar”!

In the present lesson, we are simply going to review other Spanish verbs that produce the same sentence structure as “gustar”, providing example sentences.

Two Spanish sentences with verbs like "gustar"
Two sentences with verbs like “gustar”

At the end you’ll find a Quiz and an Exercise for practice.

Identifying verbs like “gustar”

First of all, we need to understand that “gustar” doesn’t actually mean “to like”, but “to be pleasing”.

Example:

A mí me gusta el zumo de naranja.
Orange juice is pleasing to me.

“gustar” expresses a certain effect that something has on someone (“it is pleasing”).

Of course, we can think of other verbs that express different effects things have on people.

For example:

  • Something worries me.
  • Something scares me.
  • Something bothers me.
  • Something makes me happy.
  • … (and many others)

In Spanish, all those verbs produce the same sentences structure as “gustar”.

List of verbs like “gustar”

Here is a list of common verbs like “gustar”. Notice that they all express the effect something has on someone:

SpanishEnglish
fascinarto fascinate
encantarto be very pleasing
entusiasmarto delight, to thrill
interesarto interest
apetecerto feel like, to fancy
inspirarto inspire
preocuparto cause worry
dar miedoto scare, to frighten
asustarto scare, to frighten
aburrirto bore
dar ascoto be repulsive
importarto matter
sorprenderto surprise
impresionarto impress
parecerto seem
dolerto hurt, to be painful
picarto itch
alegrarto make happy
entristecerto sadden
poner nerviosoto make nervous
ofenderto offend
costarto be difficult
faltarto be lacking/missing
hacer faltato be necessary
molestarto bother
fastidiarto annoy

Example sentences

We will now read sentences including some of the verbs above:

fascinar (to fascinate):

A mí me fascina su personalidad.
His personality fascinates me.

As we explained in our lesson about “gustar”, in this sentence we can remove “A mí” if we want to:

Me fascina su personalidad.

Or we can also change the order:

Su personalidad me fascina.


preocupar (to worry):

A mí me preocupa esta situación.
This situation worries me.


interesar (to interest):

A mi padre le interesa la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
World War II interests my father.


dar miedo (to scare, to frighten):

A ella le dan miedo las arañas.
Spiders scare her.


aburrir (to bore):

A nosotros nos aburren estas películas.
These movies bore us.

Practice

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about verbs like “gustar”:

Exercise

Let’s practice with some sentences!

Fill the gaps with the 2 words that are missing in each sentence. You need to use the verb in brackets:

1. A mí __ ___ leer novelas. (encantar)
Reading novels pleases me a lot.

2. ¿A ti __ ___ la política? (importar)
Does politics matter to you?

3. A Carmen __ ___ las piernas. (doler)
Carmen’s legs hurt.

4. A nosotros __ ___ tus insultos. (ofender)
Your insults offend us.

5. A vosotros __ ___ vernos. (alegrar)
Seeing us makes you guys happy.

6. A mis amigos __ ___ el fútbol. (entusiasmar)
Football/soccer is thrilling to my friends.

Solutions:
1) me encanta
2) te importa
3) le duelen
4) nos ofenden
5) os alegra
6) les entusiasma