Welcome to our grammar lesson about Spanish “gustar”, where we will learn and practice all about this verb.
The verb “gustar” means “to be pleasing”. We use it to talk about things we like, things that “are pleasing” to us.
Forming sentences with “gustar” can be challenging for the Spanish learner, because it produces a particular sentence structure that needs to be understood.
In this lesson we will learn all about that structure and how to make sentences with “gustar”.
At the end you’ll find a Quiz and Exercises for practice.
“gustar” and the 2 Blocks
In order to use the verb “gustar” in sentences, we need to understand that any possible person we can think of, must be associated with 2 blocks.
The following table shows the 2 blocks for each person:
|Person||Block 1||Block 2|
|yo||a mí||me gusta|
|tú||a ti||te gusta|
a mis amigos
When forming sentences with “gustar”, never say the persons shown above in the column “persons”.
Use only the blocks!
For example, the word “yo” is not allowed. Instead of
“yo”, say “a mí” 🙂
Here are example sentences with verb “gustar” for each person, always using the 2 Blocks:
A mí me gusta Madrid. = Madrid is pleasing to me.
A ti te gusta la canción. = The song is pleasing to you.
A él le gusta el coche. = The car is pleasing to him.
A nosotros nos gusta la playa. = The beach is pleasing to us.
A vosotros os gusta el bar. = The bar is pleasing to you guys.
A ellos les gusta el jazz. = Jazz is pleasing to them.
Choosing “gusta” vs “gustan”
There is something missing in the table above: sometimes we use “gustan” instead of “gusta” in the second block.
This is the rule:
- If the thing that is pleasing is singular, we use “gusta”, regardless of the person.
- If the things that are pleasing are plural, we use “gustan”, regardless of the person.
Here are more sentences, but this time the things that are pleasing are plural, so we use “gustan”:
A mí me gustan las patatas fritas. = Chips are pleasing to me.
A ti te gustan las bicis. = Bikes are pleasing to you.
A ella le gustan las manzanas. = Apples are pleasing to her.
A nosotros nos gustan los libros. = Books are pleasing to us.
A vosotros os gustan las flores. = Flowers are pleasing to you guys.
A ellos les gustan los dulces. = Cakes are pleasing to them.
Play with the 2 Blocks!
Once we understand the 2 blocks for each person, we actually have a lot of freedom to play with them, in several ways.
We can do all these things:
- Use just one block instead of two
- Change the order of the blocks
- Add other words such as “no” and “mucho”
Let’s study each possibility:
Using just one block
We don’t always need to use both blocks. Most times, Block 2 is enough.
For example, to say “Ketchup is pleasing to me”, this is enough:
Me gusta el kétchup.
We can add Block 1 if we want to emphasize the person:
A mí me gusta el kétchup.
Another possibility is using only Block 1, if we have already mentioned the verb “gustar” and we don’t want to repeat it all the time.
For example, in the following conversation, after mentioning the verb “gustar” once, the 2 people continue the conversation using only Blocks 1:
A mí me gusta el kétchup, ¿y a ti?
Ketchup is pleasing to me, and to you?
A mí también.
To me also.
Changing the order of the blocks
The order of the Blocks is not strict. We can change it if we want to.
The following sentences have the same meaning: “Ketchup is pleasing to me”:
El kétchup me gusta.
A mí el kétchup me gusta.
El kétchup me gusta a mí.
Adding words such as “no” and “mucho”
If something is not pleasing, the word “no” goes after Block 1 and before Block 2:
A mí no me gusta el tenis.
Tennis is not pleasing to me.
¿No te gusta el bar?
The bar is not pleasing to you?
A mí no.
Not to me.
The word “mucho” (“a lot, very”), goes after both blocks:
A nosotros nos gusta mucho el baloncesto.
Basketball is very pleasing to us.
Les gusta mucho la ciudad.
The city is very pleasing to them.
Sentences with “gustar” in other tenses
Up to this point, we have only read sentences with “gustar” in Present tense.
But of course, we can also use “gustar” in past and future tenses.
The sentence structure is the same, but naturally the verb “gustar” must be conjugated in whatever tense we want.
For example, in Present Perfect, instead of choosing between “gusta” and “gustan”, we choose between “ha gustado” and “han gustado”:
A mí me ha gustado la película.
The movie has been pleasing to me.
A María le han gustado los libros.
The books have been pleasing to María.
A nosotros nos gustó el cómic.
The comic was pleasing to us.
A ti te gustaron los cuentos.
The tales were pleasing to you.
Other Spanish verbs like “gustar”
There are other verbs in Spanish that produce the same structure as “gustar”, using 2 Blocks. Click here and learn about other verbs like “gustar”.
Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about Spanish verb “gustar”:
Exercise 1: “gusta” vs “gustan”
In the following sentences, choose “gusta” or “gustan”.
Remember the only thing to consider: whether the thing that is pleasing is singular or plural.
1. A mí me _____ tus pendientes.
2. A ti te _____ jugar a las cartas.
3. A mi padre le _____ los coches deportivos.
4. A nosotros nos _____ la miel.
5. A vosotros os _____ la playa.
6. A ellas les _____ los helados.
2) gusta (careful here, “las cartas” is plural, but what’s pleasing is “jugar” (playing)
The following sentences and short dialogs include the verb “gustar”, but many words are missing. Fill the gaps so that it makes sense!:
A Laura ___ _____ (1) las manzanas.
Apples are pleasing to Laura.
¿Te gusta la canción?
Is the song pleasing to you?
Sí, ___ _____ (2) mucho. De hecho, ___ _____ (3) todas las canciones de este grupo.
Yes, it is very pleasing to me. In fact, all songs by this band are pleasing to me.
A nosotros ___ _____ (4) el jamón ibérico. ¿Y __ (5) vosotros?
Iberian ham is pleasing to us. And to you guys?
___ (6) nosotros no.
Not to us.
A mis primos no ___ _____ (7) jugar al fútbol.
Playing football is not pleasing to my cousins.
A mí ___ _____ (8) tocar el piano, ¿y __ (9) ti?
Playing the piano is pleasing to me. And to you?
A __ (10) también.
To me also.
1) le gustan
2) me gusta 3) me gustan
4) nos gusta 5) a
7) les gusta
8) me gusta 9) a