How to Conjugate Gustar in Spanish (+14 Other Tricky Spanish Verbs)

How to Conjugate Gustar in Spanish (+14 Other Tricky Spanish Verbs)

Struggling with verbs in Spanish? Trying to learn how to conjugate gustar?

Of all the verbs in Spanish, the verb gustar is one of the most challenging verbs to conjugate.

But, from now on, it doesn’t have to be your nightmare.

 

Together, we are going to overpass that obstacle called ‘gustar sentences’ and see when and how to use gustar.

The Meaning of the Verb Gustar

Gustar means to like.

It is one of the most commonly used verbs in Spanish, therefore, it is essential to master it as soon as possible.

Right from the start, we can see the difference between verbs to like and gustar.

Keep in mind that in English, many thoughts can be expressed with the verb to like.

 

For example, saying the sentence Mosquitos like me in English can’t be translated the same way. If you try to say it in Spanish as Me gustan los mosquitos, that doesn’t mean the same. It means  I like mosquitos.

Do you see the difference now?

How to Conjugate Gustar

From the previous example, it is clear that you can’t change the verb gustar the way you do that in English. 

 

So, in the following lines, you can see the correct conjugation:

Singular

Me gusta (n) - I like

Te gusta (n) - You like

Le gusta (n) - He/She likes

Plural

Nos gusta (n) - We like

Os gusta (n) - You all like (formal)

Les gusta (n) - You all like (formal)

Rules of the Verb Gustar

As we mentioned, the verb gustar is used differently in Spanish.

Let’s take a look at some common mistakes that Spanish learners may make, and see how to use gustar.

 

  • You can’t use personal pronouns with the verb gustar, but only indirect personal pronouns like me, te, le, etc.

For example, saying Yo gusta el gato in Spanish doesn’t mean I like the cat.

  • When you refer to something singular, then you use gusta. For plural, use gustan.

There are cases, however, when you can’t clearly say that something is singular or plural when you want to express an action. In these situations, you conjugate only the verb gustar, that is, the first verb, while the second one remains in the infinitive form.

If you, for example, want to say I like to walk you say Me gusta caminar. You conjugate the verb gustar, and the verb caminar remains in the infinitive.

  • In cases when you want to use more than two verbs in the sentence, you still follow the previous rule.

When you want to say, for example, I like to go walking, you say Me gusta ir a caminar.

So, no matter how many verbs you have in the sentence, the first verb, which is mainly gustar, is conjugated, while others are in the infinitive form.

  • In some situations, it is not enough to use the verb in a particular person. If you want to emphasize that you like something or, someone you use the phrase the following way:

 

A mí, me gusta …

A ti, te gusta…

A él/ella/usted, le gusta…

A nosotros, nos gusta…

A vosotros, os gusta…

A ellas/ellos/ustedes, les gusta…

 

The Difference Between Gustar and To Like

 

When watching this verb in two different languages, English and Spanish, it is essential to understand the meaning.

In Spanish, this verb is based upon what is that it is being liked. In English, however, it is based upon who is doing the liking.

 

So, the English pattern looks like this:

Person (the one who likes)+ the verb+ object ( what it is liked)

 

In Spanish, the pattern is different:

Indirect object pronoun ( the person who likes)+ the verb+ object ( what it is liked)

 

If it gives you any comfort, Spanish speakers have difficulties as well when they want to say something in English using the  verb to like.

 

The Gustar Verbs: Spanish Verbs Conjugated The Gustar Way

 

If you thought that this was the only verb that is conjugated this way, then you were wrong.

There are even 14 verbs like gustar, that is, verbs we conjugate the same way as the verb gustar.

The Encantar conjugation is the same as with the gustar. Like the verb gustar, this one refers to the thing (object) that is being loved.

The difference between encantar and amar is clear; amar is used to express love between people, while encantar refers to things.

 

  • Aburrir (to bore)

The verb aburrir has several meanings, such as to bore as the main one,  to tire, to annoy, to irritate.

It also has a reflexive form, aburrirse, which means to be bored.

 

  • Atrarer (to attract)

The verb atraer has a reflexive form, atraerse, and it can be used as llamar la atencion, which is a colloquial way to attract.

 

  • Convenir (to be in someone’s interest)

Perhaps the best way to memorize and use this verb appropriately is to remember that in English, when something is convenient, it mostly means that it is in your interest.

 

  • Costar (to cost)

Despite the meaning to cost, this verb can be used in the meaning hill, precisely when something is quite difficult to do. For example, Me cuesta subir la cuesta, which means It’s difficult for me to go up the hill.

 

  • Faltar (to be lacking something)

Depending on contexts, this verb not only means to be lacking something but to miss work or, in Spanish, faltar el trabajo.

 

  • Importar (to be important to)

While the meaning to be important to is the most commonly used, this verb has several different meanings, including the verb to import.

 

  • Molestar (to be bothered)

The molestar conjugation belongs to this group of verbs.

In English, to molest has a different meaning than in Spanish, so have in mind that this is a false friend.

If you want to say in Spanish to molest, it is acosar.

 

  • Quedar (to remain)

The verb quedar has many different meanings, depending on the context. The most common meaning is to remain, and in some contexts, it is used in the meaning to meet like in the following example: ¿A qué hora hemos quedado?’ in English What time are we going to meet at?

  • Parecer (to appear to be)

Parecer can be used as a verb, but as a noun as well, in the meaning opinion.

Even though you can say either cambiar de parecer or cambiar de opinión, the second phrase is more common.

 

  • Preocupar (to worry)

Like other verbs that are conjugated this way, preocupar has a reflexive form, preocuparse, which means to be worried. Besides, other meanings of this verb are to care about, to concern, to interest.

 

  • Picar (to itch)

From the meaning to itch, the verb picar can mean to bite as well as in a way of spiciness as from the following example: La salsa pica mucho, or in English, The salsa is really spicy.

 

  • Sobrar (to be left over)

This verb is used when you want to say that something is left over. 

Interestingly, it is used as a Spanish slang, and then it means to say something that is unnecessary.

 

It would be strange that among many verbs, there is no irregular one. Well, here it is. In the verb doler, in the meaning to be painful, the letter ‘o’ changes to ‘ue’ in the simple present tense.

Singular 

Plural

Yo duelo

Nosotros dolemos

Tú dueles

Vosotros doléis

Él/Ella/Usted duele

Ellos/ellas/ustedes duelen

 

Final Thoughts

Now you have everything explained about the verbs gustar and other verbs that belong to this group. You are well-equipped to participate in conversations with native speakers. - Find a native speaker to practice with here.

Have in mind that the verb gustar is one of the most used verbs in Spanish, so the faster you realize this trick, the sooner you will be on a path to fluency.

From here, learning Spanish should be para comida, or as we used to say, a piece of cake.

If you don't have time for classes or just want a more convenient way to learn Spanish, try Babbel. It's a language learning app that provides a fund and easy way to Learn.

How do you conjugate gustar?

Me gusta, Te gusta, Le gusta, Nos gusta, Os gusta, Les gusta.

Why is gustar conjugated differently?

Because it's one of the irregular Spanish verbs.

Why use a mi me gusta?

It's like saying I, myself. If everyone is saying what they want to drink and you want to highlight what you want, you can say A mi me gustaria...

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