21 Verbs Like Gustar You Should Start Using in Spanish Conversation
Verbs like gustar in Spanish may seem complicated and confusing, but I can promise you there’s an easy way to trick your brain into using this verb structure without errors!
Change How You Think
Language has a way of exposing our most basic assumptions about reality. When it comes to verbs like gustar, you’ll notice a striking difference between the way native English and Spanish speakers interact with things in their world. For example:
“I like Spanish class.”
In this sentence, I am the one doing the liking. It is “I” who is the subject, the doer, and the one performing the action. Meanwhile the “Spanish class” is the direct object; it is receiving my “like.” Conversely:
Me gusta la clase de español.
In this sentence, I am the one receiving the pleasing experience of liking la clase de español. It is in fact the Spanish class that is the subject, the doer, and the one performing the action! The Spanish class has a quality about it that is pleasing to me, making “me” the one who receives the action.
The Most Common Structure
As a Spanish learner, you’re no stranger to the common phrase me gusta, but you may start feeling slightly unsure when you see me gustan (and no doubt you stop to wonder when you see te gusto, but we’ll get to that later). So, let’s break it down.
Quick Grammar Lesson
The most common structure of verbs like gustar is using the third-person singular or third-person plural.
The third-person singular is conjugated with the subjects he, she, or it. When you say “he eats apples,” the third-person singular subject is “he” and the third-person singular verb is “eats,” while the “apples” are the direct object.
When you see me gusta, you are actually seeing “___ pleases me.” The third-person singular subject is not directly visible, the third-person singular verb is “pleases,” and the direct object is “me.”
Take a look:
Me gusta el nuevo logo de la compañía. – I like the company’s new logo.
This sentence literally translates as “The company’s new logo pleases me.” Since the logo is a singular noun, the verb gustar is conjugated in third person singular form.
Because Spanish verbs change depending on their subject, you don’t have to use the subject to be understood. That’s why you’ll hear people say me gusta, and it means “I like it” or “it pleases me.” While this phrase stands alone, it will be helpful for you to remember it as “___ pleases me” so you can quickly fill in the blank when you start Spanish conversations.
Now, think about it—what are you actually seeing when you read the phrase me gustan?
Me gustan las pinturas en tu casa.
Did you say, “they please me”? If you did, you’re right!
The sentence above literally means “The paintings in your house please me,” and we translate it to “I like the paintings in your house.”
Try It Out
Take a moment to see if you’ve captured the basics of the most common structure for verbs like gustar. Can you fill in the blanks? Let me know how easy this is for you down below in the comments!
- Me __________ los perros.
- Me __________ tu gorra.
- Me __________ su manera de hablar.
- Me __________ sus canciones nuevas.
You’ll find the answers to check your work at the end of this blog post!
Other Conjugations for Verbs Like Gustar
As we’ve seen, me gusta and me gustan are the most common sentence structures for verbs like gustar, but as your Spanish skills grow, you’ll want to use these verbs in a variety of ways. If you are still in the process of mastering the third-person conjugations of gustar, then I highly recommend that you stick to that before moving on to what I’m about to discuss!
However, if you’re ready to move forward, let’s do it.
What do you think it means if I say: me gustas.
Does it mean “I like you” or “You like me”?
Remember our original translation tool: “____ please(s) me.” In this case, we need to figure out what the subject is by using the verb. Since it’s gustas, we know the subject is tú. In other words:
Tú me gustas. You please me. Or, “I like you.”
Similarly, let’s look at: te gusto.
We can see the verb gusto means that yo te gusto, or “I please you.” In other words, “you like me”!
Before we jump into our useful list of verbs like gustar, let me introduce one to you here: hacer falta. This means “to miss” or “to need” and hacer is conjugated exactly as we have discussed with falta always following it.
Me hace falta mi primo. – I miss my cousin.
Me hacen falta los ingredientes. – I need the ingredients.
What does me haces falta mean?
If haces falta is the verb, we know that tú is the subject. Tú me haces falta = I miss you.
Hacer falta is a little harder to translate in a way that helps you quickly understand its meaning, but it is a good exercise in understanding indirect objects—which we will explore now.
Indirect Objects with Verbs Like Gustar
Indirect objects in English require that a direct object exists, but Spanish does not have this requirement. The indirect object answers the question “to whom?” or “for whom?”, while the direct object answers the question “what?” or “who?” For example, in English, you have a sentence like:
She sends me letters.
And we break it down into…
She = subject
Sends = verb
Me = indirect object
Letters = direct object
What does she send? She sends letters. (direct object)
To whom does she send letters? She sends letters to me. (indirect object)
With verbs like gustar in Spanish, the performing action is happening to me, to you, or to someone. In the introductory lesson above, we translated me gusta as “It pleases me,” when in reality it is much closer to “It is pleasing to me.” Similarly, while me hace falta means, “I miss it” or “I need it,” it translates more closely as “It is lacking from me” (which we would obviously never say in English!).
When you’re confronted with the sentence Le hace falta, you suddenly realize how ambiguous this can get! How do others know who you’re talking about when you say le hace falta? Check out this sentence:
Ella le hace falta a él.
He misses her. (She is lacking from him.)
By adding a + pronoun, you use a prepositional phrase that specifically refers back to the indirect object. Here are your other options:
|Indirect Object Pronoun||Prepositional Phrase||English|
|me||a mí||to me / for me|
|te||a ti||to you / for you|
|le||a usted||to you / for you (formal)|
|le||a él||to him / for him|
|le||a ella||to her / for her|
|nos||a nosotros||to us / for us|
|les||a ustedes||to you all / for you all|
|les||a ellos||to them / for them|
|les||a ellas||to them / for them|
Let’s explore some example sentences with two verbs we know well now: gustar and hacer falta. As you’ll see, the prepositional phrase a + pronoun can go at the beginning or end of the sentence. Additionally, you can be even more specific by using a + noun**:
Me gusta mucho el muchacho. – I like the boy a lot.
Le gusto mucho a él. – He likes me a lot.
**Le gusto mucho al muchacho. – The boy likes me a lot.
¡Ustedes me hacen falta! – I miss you guys!
Les hago falta a ustedes, ¿verdad? – You guys miss me, don’t you?
**Les hago falta a los maestros, ¿verdad? – The teachers miss me, don’t they?
A usted no le gusta estar solo. – You (formal) don’t like to be alone.
No le gusta mi chaqueta a ella. – She doesn’t like my jacket.
No le gusta mi chaqueta a la modelo. – The model doesn’t like my jacket.
A ti no te hago falta. – You don’t miss me.
A ella no le hago falta. – She doesn’t miss me.
Él no le hace falta a ella. – She doesn’t miss him.
**Ella no le hace falta a su ex-novio. – Her ex-boyfriend doesn’t miss her.
21 Verbs Like Gustar
Now that you’ve mastered how to conjugate and use verbs like gustar, it’s time to build your vocabulary with some more verbs that react similarly. This is hardly an exhaustive list, but it’s a great starting point for you to expand your expressive Spanish skills. Here they are!
|aburrir||to bore / get tired of||ah-boo-reer|
|alegrar||to cheer up / make happy||ah-lay-grar|
|apetecer||to feel like / crave||ah-pay-tay-ser|
|asustar||to frighten / scare||ah-soo-star|
|convenir (e:ie)||to be a good idea / suit / be convenient||kohn-bay-neer|
|costar (o:ue)||to cost / be hard||koh-star|
|divertir (e:ie)||to amuse / entertain||dee-beer-teer|
|doler (o:ue)||to hurt / ache||doh-lair|
|faltar||to be missing / be absent||fall-tar|
|fascinar||to fascinate / captivate||fah-see-nar|
|favorecer||to favor / encourage||fah-boh-ray-ser|
|importar||to matter / mind / care||eem-poor-tar|
|interesar||to interest / concern||een-tair-ay-sar|
|molestar||to bother / annoy / upset||moh-lay-star|
|parecer||to seem / look like||pah-ray-ser|
|picar||to sting / bite / itch / chop||pee-kar|
|preocupar||to worry / be concerned||pray-oh-koo-par|
|quedar||to be left / to stay||kay-dar|
|sobrar||to be left over / not be needed||soh-brar|
Example Sentences for Verbs like Gustar
Check out these example sentences for each verb:
- Me aburren las películas de horror. – Horror movies bore me.
- Le agradas mucho a mi abuela. – My grandma really likes you. (You please my grandma.)
- Me alegra la noticia de tu boda. – The news of your wedding makes me happy.
- ¿Por qué siempre nos apetece pizza? – Why are we always craving pizza?
- Los ruidos fuertes le asustan a mi perro. – Loud noises scare my dog.
- ¿Te conviene ir a la reunión? – Is it convenient for you to go to the meeting?
- Te cuesta hablar español. – It’s hard for you to speak Spanish.
- Les divierte la conversación. – The conversation amuses them.
- ¡Cómo me duele la muerte de mi bisabuelo! – The death of my great-grandfather hurts me!
- Les encantan las canciones románticas a mis tías. – My aunts love romantic songs.
- Le falta un número al total. – The total is missing a number.
- Nos fascina su colección de bichos. – His bug collection fascinates us.
- Le favorecen los maestros porque él siempre hace caso. – Teachers favor him because he always listens.
- ¡No me importa lo que tú me digas! – I don’t care about whatever you say to me!
- Le interesa más a ella la idea de ganar dinero. – She is more interested in the idea of making money.
- Nos molestan mucho los fuegos pirotécnicos. – Fireworks really bother us.
- Me parece que estás cansada. – It looks to me like you’re tired.
- ¡Le están picando las abejas! – The bees are stinging her!
- A él le preocupa la falta de dinero de su negocio. – His company’s lack of money worries him.
- La blusa me queda pequeña. – The shirt is too small for me. (The shirt fits me small.)
- Le sobra lo que a ti te falta. – He has more than what you lack.
More Verb Phrases Like Hacer Falta
As you continue to polish your skills with verbs like gustar, you’ll start craving the use of common verb phrases that native Spanish speakers use. To be clear, verb phrases contain more than one word and as a unit they act with new meaning. For example, the verb caer means “to fall,” but the verb phrase caer bien means “to like” or “to agree with.” Now let’s look at more.
Volver loco – to go mad, to drive crazy
Me vuelve loco verte con él. – It drives me crazy to see you with him.
Caer bien – to like, to agree with
A ella le cae bien la nueva dieta. – The new diet agrees with her.
Caer mal – to rub the wrong way
Esa muchacha me cae mal. – The girl rubs me the wrong way.
Quedar bien – to make a good impression, to look good
¡Qué bien te queda tu camisa! – Your shirt fits you so well!
Quedar mal – to make a bad impression, to fit badly
Cuando lo conocí, me quedó mal. – When I met him, he made a bad first impression.
Dar asco – to make feel sick, to disgust
Los hongos me dan asco. – Mushrooms make me sick.
Dar miedo – to scare
Los payasos nos dan miedo. – Clowns scare us.
Hacer gracia – to be funny, to amuse
No le va hacer gracia verte por aquí. – It’s not going to amuse him to see you around here.
Start Speaking Today
You have officially gathered the skills to start speaking Spanish today with ease and excellence. Now it’s your turn to start a Spanish conversation with one of our native, certified Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala today! Our teachers would love to work with you to master your use of verbs like gustar and prepare you for amazing and fun conversations in Spanish. Sign up for a free trial today to see for yourself how easy and effective our classes truly are!
Looking for more free Spanish grammar lessons? Check out these posts!
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- Using Diminutives in Spanish for More Colorful Conversations
- A Simple Intermediate Guide to Subjunctive Conditional Spanish
- Cuál vs Qué: What’s the Difference?
Check Your Answers!
1. Me gustan los perros.
2. Me gusta tu gorra.
3. Me gusta su manera de hablar.
4. Me gustan sus canciones nuevas.
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