Are you familiar with the Spanish verb gustar (to like)? Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't know whether to use gusta or gustan when talking about something you like? If using gusta vs gustan is tricky for you, here are some simple rules to help you understand the difference between gusta and gustan.
Let's start with some good news. When you want to say that you like someone or something, the only thing you need to know is how to conjugate the verb gustar in the third person either in its singular (gusta) or plural (gustan) form. Let's take a look at a couple of simple sentences with gustar:
A mí me gusta el acento de las colombianas.
I like the Colombian women's accent.
Caption 50, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2Play Caption
Sí, a mí me gustan las plantas y las flores y los árboles.
Yes, I like the plants and the flowers and the trees.Play Caption
That's it. You don't need anything else. Now, let's see when to use gusta or gustan.
The following simple rules will help you to master the gustan vs gusta battle.
Use the third person singular gusta for the following cases:
1. When the verb gustar is followed by a singular noun.
Me gusta la camisa.
I like the shirt.Play Caption
Keep in mind that most of the time, you will need to place a definite article before the noun.
2. When the verb gustar is followed by a verb in the infinitive.
...y me gusta llevar faldas normalmente, sobre todo en... en invierno.
...and I like to wear skirts usually, especially in... in winter.
Captions 6-7, El Aula Azul - Actividades DiariasPlay Caption
3. When the verb gustar is followed by several infinitive verbs.
A Pedro le gusta leer, tocar guitarra y hacer ejercicio.
Pedro likes to read, play guitar and exercise.
Use the third person plural gustan for the following cases:
1. When the verb gustar is followed by a plural noun.
A Lola le gustan los hombres fuertes.
Lola likes strong men.Play Caption
2. When the verb gustar is followed by multiple, independent nouns.
Me gustan el diseño, la decoración y la arquitectura de esa casa.
I like the design, decoration, and architecture of that house.
When asking questions or stating negative sentences, you need to stick to the same rules we mentioned before. Let's look at a couple of examples:
¿Te gusta la ciencia?
Do you like science?
Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2Play Caption
A mí no me gusta tu camiseta.
I don't like your shirt.
Caption 12, Español para principiantes - Los coloresPlay Caption
¿No te gustan las velas?
You don't like candles?
Caption 38, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poemaPlay Caption
That's it for today. But before we leave you, we invite you to answer this very simple question so you can practice a little bit the difference between gusta and gustan: ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre? And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.