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Yabla's Top 10 Verbs Like Gustar

The focus of today's lesson will be "verbs like gustar." But... what is gustar like?! 

 

The Verb Gustar 

The Spanish verb  gustar describes the concept of "liking" someone or something. In contrast to English, where we'd say "We" (the subject) "like cheese" (the object), in Spanish, whatever "we like" becomes the subject that projects the action "onto us." This is similar to how the English verb "to please" functions, e.g., "Cheese pleases us," where "the cheese" carries out the action of "pleasing" (us). For an in-depth exploration of this topic, we recommend this two-part lesson on Gustar vs. "To Like": A Difference in Perception. In the meantime, we'll give you a few tips regarding conjugating the verb gustar and verbs that act in a similar fashion. 

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1. An indirect object pronoun (me (to me), te (to you), le (to him/her/formal "you"), nos (to us), os (informal plural "to you"), and les ("to them" or plural "to you")) is used to indicate who is "being pleased," or, in English, the person who "likes" someone or something. 

 

2. Regardless of tense, the verb gustar is conjugated in accordance with the Spanish subject (what is "being liked" or "pleasing").

 

3. If the subject is a noun, the definite article is used (el, la, los, las, which mean "the").

 

4. Optionally, a phrase with a (to) + a prepositional pronoun ( (me), ti (you), él (him), ella (her), usted (formal "you"), nosotros (we), vosotros (informal plural "you"), or ustedes (plural "you")) can be added before or after the verb for emphasis. A direct object may also be introduced with a.

 

Armed with this information, let's look at a few examples:

 

A mí me gustan las hamburguesas.

I like hamburgers.

Caption 11, Español para principiantes Los colores

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Me gustas. 

I like you.

Caption 44, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 12

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¡A las niñas grandes les gustan los coches deportivos, les gusta el dinero, les gusta bailar!

Big girls like sports cars, they like money, they like "bailar"!

Captions 22-23, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar - Part 3

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In accordance with our tips, in all of these examples, the indirect object pronoun indicates or agrees with who is "liking"/"being pleased," with me being "I" and les agreeing with the direct object, las niñas grande. The verb gustar, on the other hand, agrees with who or what "pleases"/"is liked" in English: the plural gustan with las hamburguesas and los coches deportivosgustas with the implied tú (you), and gusta with el dinero and the infinitive bailar.

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Yabla's Top 10 Verbs that Function Like Gustar

Now that we've recalled how gustar functions, we bet you're dying to know Yabla's Top Ten Verbs Like Gustar in the sense of the "reversal" of the roles of the traditional subject and object. Let's take a look.

 

1. Doler (to hurt)

Although this verb is most often translated as just "hurt(s)," it might help you to think of the more literal translations for the examples below: "My legs hurt (me)" and "your head hurts (you)," respectively. 

 

¡Me duelen las piernas!

My legs hurt!

Caption 45, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar - Part 1

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Cuando tú estás enfermo, te duele la cabeza,

When you're ill, your head hurts,

Captions 32-33, El Aula Azul Las Profesiones - Part 2

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2. Encantar (to love)

Note that as gustar can be translated as "to like," encantar is most often translated as "to love." However, it might behoove you to think of the English word "enchant(s)" to help remember the Spanish structure, e.g.  "Feathers enchant me." 

 

Me encantan las plumas.

I love feathers.

Caption 33, Ariana Cena especial

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Aquí, a los alemanes les encanta sentarse afuera

Here, Germans love to sit outside

Caption 21, Venezolanos por el mundo Zoraida en Alemania - Part 2

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3. Fascinar (to fascinate/be fascinated)

Interestingly, although fascinar can be translated as "to fascinate," it is more commonly used in Spanish than its English equivalent and can often mean something comparable to the verb encantar, or "to love." 

 

Es una ciudad que me fascina,

It's a city that fascinates me

Caption 16, Venezolanos por el mundo Gio en Barcelona

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y me fascinaba perderme entre sus calles

and it fascinated me to get lost in its streets

Caption 11, Venezolanos por el mundo Gio en Barcelona

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An alternative translation for this second caption might be: "and I loved getting lost in its streets."

 

4. Hacer falta (to need/be necessary)

While "need" is the most often-heard translation for the verb hacer falta, you can think of the following examples with "to be necessary for" to more closely imitate their Spanish structure, i.e., "the only thing that's necessary for us" and "Those songs are necessary for me."

 

lo único que nos hace falta es una voz líder.

the only thing we need is a lead singer.

Caption 31, X6 1 - La banda - Part 3

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Me hacen falta esas cantadas

I need those songs

Caption 66, Félix Carlos Hello Chamo

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5. Importar (to matter/be important to)

While the English verbs "to matter (to)" and "be important (to)" work much like the Spanish verb gustar, importar plus an indirect object pronoun can also occasionally be translated as "to care about."

 

Me importás vos.

You matter to me.

Caption 23, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 2

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¡Mis hijos me importan!

I care about my children!

Caption 60, Yago 3 La foto - Part 6

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This second example could also be translated more literally as "My children matter to me!"

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6. Interesar (to interest/be interested in)

The verb interesar can be translated as either "to interest" or "be interested." For example, if you say, Me gusta la ciencia, either the more literal "science interests me" or "I'm interested in science" suffice as possible translations. Let's see a couple of examples, noting the inclusion of the word atraer (to attract), which also functions like gustar.

 

no me atraen ni me interesan...

they neither attract me nor interest me...

Caption 8, Enanitos Verdes Amores Lejanos

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si les interesa saber cómo es la cumbia, en Yabla pueden encontrar un video

if you're interested in knowing what cumbia is like, you can find a video on Yabla

Captions 90-91, Cleer y Lida El Carnaval de Barranquilla - Part 2

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7. Molestar (to bother)

Since the English verb "to bother" works much like the Spanish molestar, the translations for sentences with the verb molestar plus an indirect object pronoun should seem pretty straightforward for English speakers. 

 

¿Por qué te molestan tanto?

Why do they bother you so much?

Caption 3, Guillermina y Candelario La Peluqueria del Mar - Part 2

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¡No, no me molestas para nada! -Adiós.

No, you don't bother me at all! -Goodbye.

Caption 48, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 1

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8. Parecer (to seem/seem like/think)

In our first example below, a more literal translation would be "it seems cool to them." However, "to think" is a very common translation for parecer(le) a alguien (to seem to someone). For more on the verb parecer, check out Clase Aula Azul's seven-part series on El verbo parecer as well as Doctora Consejo's video on Parecer y parecerse.

 

Están muy interesados en la música, les parece chévere.

They're very interested in the music, they think it's cool.

Caption 54, Cleer Entrevista a Lila

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¿Te parezco una mujer?

Do I seem like a woman to you?

Caption 29, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 1

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9. Preocupar (to worry)

When you want to talk about "being worried" or "worrying" yourself, the reflexive verb preocuparse (to worry) is the one to choose. But in the case that something worries you, the verb preocupar plus an indirect object pronoun can help you to describe this. 

 

Sí, te preocupa. -¿A mí qué me preocupa? -¿Morena?

Yes, it worries you. -What worries me? -Morena?

Caption 32, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 4

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para hablarles de un tema que parece del pasado pero que nos preocupa a todos en el presente.

to talk to you about a topic that seems [to be] from the past but which concerns us all in the present.

Captions 28-29, La Sub30 Familias - Part 1

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10. Quedar (to have left)

In literal terms, quedar plus an indirect object pronoun can be thought of as "what remains" or "is left for" someone or something. Let's take a look at this verb in action:

 

Como: Todavía me queda tiempo.

Like: I still have time.

Caption 110, Escuela BCNLIP Clase con Javi: el futuro - Part 10

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todavía nos quedan muchos más prefijos para ver.

we still have a lot more prefixes left to look at.

Caption 52, Carlos explica Los prefijos en español - Part 4

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Note that this very same verb can also refer to how something "looks on" or "fits" someone when accompanied by adjectives such as bien, mal, grande, etc. 

 

Que me pasa a mí es que los guantes siempre me quedan grandes.

What happens to me is that the gloves are always too big for me.

Caption 78, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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With this final example, we conclude our list of Yabla's Top Ten Verbs Like Gustar. While these are just a handful of the many verbs that function like gustar in Spanish, we hope that this lesson has aided your understanding of how they work and look forward to your suggestions and comments.

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Family Members in Spanish

Let's talk about family! Do you know how to say words like "father" or "cousin" in Spanish? Today, we will learn how to say the names of the most important family members in Spanish. In particular, we will see how to write and pronounce those names. Let's take a look.

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How do you say family in Spanish?

Familia is the Spanish word for family. It is important to say that this is a feminine collective noun. Collective nouns are words that we use for particular groups. However, these nouns are treated as singular words. Let's see how this works:

 

Mi familia es pequeña y cálida.

My family is small and warm.

Considerando que "familia" es un sustantivo colectivo femenino,

Considering that "familia" is a feminine collective noun,

conjugamos el verbo en tercera persona del singular

we conjugate the verb in third person singular

y utilizamos adjetivos femeninos, "pequeña" y "cálida",

and use feminine adjectives, "pequeña" [small] and "cálida" [warm],

para elaborar la concordancia de manera correcta.

to create agreement in the correct way.

Captions 16-20, Carlos explica - Sustantivos colectivos

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List of family members in Spanish

The following are the names of the most important family member in Spanish.

 

Madre (Mother)

 

Comes bastante verdura, tu madre que te quiere.

Eat enough vegetables, your mother who loves you.

Caption 38, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam

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Very often, however, people refer to their mothers using the following terms:

 

Mamá, quería preguntarte algo.

Mom, I wanted to ask you something.

Caption 2, Yago - 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 7

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OR

 

¿Haciendo la tarea con mami? -Sí.

Doing your homework with Mommy? -Yes.

Caption 24, Yago - 11 Prisión - Part 5

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Padre (Father)

 

"A mi padre siempre le toca trabajar mucho todos los viernes".

"My father always has to work a lot every Friday."

Caption 53, Carlos explica - Vocabulario: El verbo “tocar”

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However, just like for the word "mother", there are some other terms people use when talking with or about their fathers:

 

Fue cuando me di cuenta no tenía ni idea de lo que hacía mi papá.

It was then that I realized I had no idea what my dad did.

Caption 30, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3 - Part 3

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OR

 

Papi, cualquier hora es buena.

Daddy, any hour is good.

Caption 5, X6 1 - La banda

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Hijo (Son)

 

Quiero presentarles a mi hijo; Kevin, él es Felipe.

I want to introduce you to my son; Kevin, this is Felipe.

Caption 16, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3 - Part 6

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Hija (Daughter)

 

Y muy feliz de tener a mi lado a mi hija.

And very happy to have my daughter by my side.

Caption 38, Yolimar Gimón - sobre el concurso Mrs. Venezuela

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Hermano (Brother)

 

Después aquí tengo a mi hermano, José.

Then here I have my brother, Jose.

Caption 11, Curso de español - Vamos a hablar de la familia

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Hermana (Sister)

 

...pero que estaba alejando a mi hermana de nosotros.

...but it was taking my sister away from us.

Caption 21, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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Abuelo (Grandfather)

 

¡Abuelo, abuelo!

Grandpa, Grandpa!

Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario - Un regalo de Estrellas

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Abuela (Grandmother)

 

Abuela, podemos hablar dos minutos por favor.

Grandmother, can we talk for two minutes, please.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta

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Nieto (Grandson)

 

Mi nieto no existe.

My grandson does not exist.

Caption 53, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido

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Nieta (Granddaughter)

 

La nieta de María.

Maria's granddaughter.

Caption 30, Zoraida en Coro - El pintor Yepez

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Tío (Uncle)

 

Y su tío Aldo cree que está muerto, su tío Lucio confía en que esté vivo.

And his Uncle Aldo believes that he's dead, his Uncle Lucio has faith that he's alive.

Caption 22, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 3

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Tía (Aunt)

 

Esa es mi tía Silvia.

That is my Aunt Silvia.

Caption 24, Español para principiantes - Demostrativos

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Sobrino (Nephew)

 

¿Hace cuánto tiempo que dejó de ver a su sobrino?

How long ago did you stop seeing your nephew?

Caption 69, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 1

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Sobrina (Niece)

 

Sobrina. Muy bien.

Niece. Very good.

Caption 43, Curso de español - Vamos a hablar de la familia

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Primo (Male cousin)

 

Sí, me gusta mucho mi primo Pedro.

Yes, I like my cousin Pedro very much.

Caption 40, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

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Prima (Female cousin)

 

Esta mañana mi prima se ha roto la pierna jugando al fútbol.

This morning my cousin has broken her leg playing soccer.

Caption 15, Lecciones con Carolina - Participios - Ejemplos de uso

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Finally, keep in mind that when using the plural forms of these nouns, you should use the male form when the group is made of both male and female members:

 

Two cousins (both male):  Dos primos

Two cousins (both female): Dos primas 

Two cousing (one male and one female): Dos primos

 

That's it for today. We invite you to take a piece of paper and design your family tree with the names of the family members in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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