How to Discuss Your Likes and Dislikes in Spanish
When you want to talk about your likes and dislikes in Spanish, you have different ways to do it. The most common one is using the verb gustar.
However, this verb is a little quirky, to say the least. Keep reading to discover why that is and how you can master this popular Spanish verb.
You’ll also learn
- other verbs that work like gustar
- positive and negative adjectives to explain why you like or dislike something
- negative verbs to help you express your dislikes
Why Learn How to Discuss Your Likes and Dislikes in Spanish?
Talking about your likes and dislikes is one of the most common topics of conversation. Just think about how many times you have expressed that you like a movie, restaurant, or vacation spot. Or remember all the times that you have said that you don’t like a certain food, drink, or subject at school.
Nowadays, you discuss this all-important topic all the time on social media and when you meet a new friend and start discovering each other’s likes and dislikes. So, it’s only logical that you learn about how to do it in the new language you’re learning.
In the likes and dislikes conversation, I’m starting with the likes and how you can talk about them in Spanish, and then I’ll discuss the dislikes at length.
What Do You Like?
That’s a direct question to you, my dear reader. Because once you start thinking about what you like, you’ll discover that you can like different kinds of things.
Let me tell you what I like:
I like art, football, and tacos.
Those three things are nouns. So, you can like nouns.
However, I also like to write, to travel, and to dance.
Those three things are verbs. So, you can also like verbs.
Now, let’s see how to express your likes in Spanish.
The most common way to say that you like something in Spanish uses the verb gustar, which is usually translated as “to like,” but it’s actually more appropriate to understand it as “to please.” Let me explain:
In English, when you like something, you say, “I like football.”
I am the one doing the action of liking football. So, I am the subject, and football is the direct object. Football receives my “like.”
Now, let’s see how it works in Spanish.
Me gusta el fútbol.
Here, I am the one receiving the pleasing experience of football. In this structure, football is the subject, and I am the direct object, because I am receiving the action.
I know that sounds weird. Let me explain it another way:
When in Spanish you see these words: me gusta ____, you need to understand it as: “____ pleases me.”
Me gusta comer tacos.
Eating tacos pleases me.
Obviously, you don’t say it or translate it like that in English, but seeing it like that helps you understand how the Spanish structure works.
If you still have your doubts about how to use the me gusta construction in Spanish, I recommend reading 21 Verbs Like Gustar You Should Start Using in Spanish Conversation.
Me gusta bailar.
I like dancing.
Me encanta viajar.
I love traveling.
Me agrada este lugar.
I like this place.
Me alegra la noticia de tu nuevo trabajo.
The news of your new job makes me happy.
Me divierte jugar tenis.
Playing tennis amuses me.
Me interesa el arte.
I’m interested in art.
Me fascina esta canción.
This song fascinates me.
Amo la ópera.
I love opera.
Using Positive Adjectives
Once you have expressed your likes, it’s just normal that people will ask you, “Ehy do you like that?” So, it might be a good idea to learn some possible answers:
Porque es _______
Puesto que es _____
Ya que es ______
For the three different answers you have one simple translation:
“Because it’s ____”
Now, just fill the blank with one of the following list of positive adjectives, and you’ll have an excellent explanation for your likes:
And now, one example for each formula:
Porque es interesante.
Because it’s interesting.
Puesto que es hermoso.
Because it’s beautiful.
Ya que es fascinante.
Because it’s fascinating.
Now it’s time to talk about your dislikes. Think of all the things that you don’t like in life. Perhaps you don’t like soup (just like Mafalda), or you hate cigarette smoke, or simply can’t stand heavy metal.
Whatever it is that you don’t like, it’s your right to dislike it and express your disaffection for it. Let’s learn how to do it in Spanish.
No Me Gusta
You already know how to work with the verb gustar in Spanish. All you need to add is a simple “no” at the beginning of the phrase.
No me gusta el teatro.
I don’t like theater.
You can do the same with several of the other verbs that allow you to express likes and dislikes:
No me gusta bailar.
I don’t like dancing.
No me encanta viajar.
I don’t love traveling.
No me agrada este lugar.
I don’t like this place.
No me alegra la noticia de tu nuevo trabajo.
The news of your new job doesn’t make me happy.
No me divierte jugar tenis.
Playing tennis doesn’t amuse me.
No me interesa el arte.
I’m not interested in art.
No me fascina esta canción.
This song doesn’t fascinate me.
No amo la ópera.
I don’t love opera.
You can also express your dislike for something by using one of the following negative verbs:
Odio el heavy metal.
I hate heavy metal.
Me cansa el ajedrez.
Chess tires me.
Me molesta tu actitud.
Your attitude annoys me.
Me irrita el arte moderno.
Modern art irritates me.
Me fastidian los deportes.
Sports annoy me.
Me aburre leer.
Reading bores me.
I detest flying.
You can use the same formulas you learned before to explain why you dislike something. All you have to do is add a negative adjective such as:
Use these verbs to explain why you dislike something, just as in the following examples:
Porque es aburrido.
Because it’s boring.
Puesto que es repugnante.
Because it’s revolting.
Ya que es difícil.
Because it’s difficult.
Discuss Your Likes and Dislikes in Spanish
Once you understand how the verb gustar works in Spanish, it’s actually quite simple to express your likes and dislikes. Just follow the formulas and enrich them by introducing different verbs and adjectives in your Spanish conversations. This way, you’ll practice discussing your likes and dislikes and also continue growing your vocabulary.
Sign up for a free trial class with one of our certified, native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala, and start discussing your likes and dislikes in Spanish today!
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