36 Verbs like “gustar”

Certain verbs such as gustar (to please) are almost always used with the indirect object pronouns, me, te, le, nos, os, and les. The Spanish sentence that corresponds to That pleases you is Eso me gusta. Here, eso is the subject and me is the object. Changing the subject to libro produces

El libro me gusta.The book pleases me./I like the book.


If the subject changes from libro to libros, the verb also changes from singular to plural.

Los libros me gustan.The books please me./I like the books.


In the Spanish gustar construction, the usual word order is often reversed, with the subject following the verb.

Me gusta eso.Me gusta el libro.Me gustan los libros.


The object pronouns used with gustar are the indirect object pronouns. Frequently, as in other sentences that contain indirect objects, a prepositional phrase (a + noun/pronoun) is used to clarify or emphasise the object pronoun. This phrase may follow the verb or precede it.

A ti te gusta el libro.The book pleases you./You like the book.

A nosotros nos gusta esquiar.Skiing pleases us./We like skiing.

Los perros no le gustan a Lupe.Dogs don’t please Lupe./Lupe doesn’t like dogs.


Note that when an action is the subject, Spanish uses the infinitive (esquiar) whereas English uses the present participle (skiing). The verb, in this case, is always singular (gusta).




A + proper nouns/pronouns (The ones in brackets are used to clarify or to emphasise)

Indirect Object Pronouns (Cannot be omitted)




Nouns or infinitives

(A mí)




gusta encanta interesa


el libro la novela

estudiar idiomas

(A ti)



A Juan (A él)

A María (A ella) A usted





A Juan y a mí (A nosotros)




gustan encantan interesan


los libros las novelas

el libro y la novela

A ti y a María (A vosotros)



A los chicos (A ellos)

A María y a Teresa (A ellas) A ustedes






You should be aware of some important differences in meaning with the verbs disgustar and gustar. Disgustar is not as emphatic as English to disgust; the verbs to annoy or to upset express its meaning more accurately. On the other hand, gustar expresses a strongly positive reaction – to such an extent that gustar is often avoided in some dialects of Spanish when talking about one’s feelings toward other people. The expressions caer bien and caer mal are more commonly used in these dialects to refer to people. These phrases follow the same structural pattern as gustar: the person causing the reaction is the subject, and the person reacting is the indirect object.


Ese hombre me cae bien, pero esos tipos de allí me caen muy mal.

That man over there strikes me positively, but those guys over there strike me all wrong.


En serio, Diego no me cae bien.Really, I just don’t like Diego.


Other verbs which are frequently used in the same way as gustar are:


costar (ue)

to be an effort


to be delighted, to love


to interest


to be lacking, missing


to bother, annoy

doler (ue)

to ache, hurt


to matter to/to mind


to concern, to be one’s turn

hacer falta

to need


to worry


Ej. 1Completa las frases con los pronombres adecuados – AS Capítulo 1a


  • A mí …… molestan mucho los espacios publicitarios.
  • A Carlos no …… importa adónde vamos.
  • A sus amigos no …… interesa leer los periódicos.
  • Niños, ¿ …… falta algo?
  • A nosotros …… duelen los pies de tanto andar.
  • Anita, ¿ …… gustan los culebrones?
  • A nuestra madre …… entusiasman los documentales sobre la naturaleza.
  • A Sonia y Carmen …… emocionan las películas de miedo.


Ej. 2Expresa las siguientes frases en la primera persona – la forma “yo” – AS Capítulo 3c


  • A ellos les conviene usar el móvil en vez del teléfono fijo.
  • A ella le gustan más los gatos que los perros.
  • Para él, los amigos son más importantes que el trabajo.
  • A ella le va mejor en los idiomas que en las ciencias.
  • A él le encantan los lugares tranquilos y la naturaleza.
  • A ella le resulta imposible levantarse temprano.
  • A él le conviene estudiar por la tarde.
  • Para ella pasar todo el día sentada en una oficina le horroriza.
  • Tiene buenos amigos y siempre puede contar con ellos.
  • A ella le encanta hablar con sus amigas por el mensajero instantáneo.


Ej. 3Traduce al español.


  • They like coffee.
  • I love these novels.
  • It is difficult for us to understand the situation.
  • They are not interested in the movies.
  • It is my turn. It is not your turn.
  • My cousins annoy me a lot.
  • We are worried about the future of New Zealand young people.
  • Mary needs a car.
  • I don’t mind at all.
  • My feet hurt.



Senior Spanish Copyright © by Cristian Rodriguez. All Rights Reserved.

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