The focus of today's lesson will be "verbs like gustar." But... what is gustar like?!
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.
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 (mí (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 coloresPlay Caption
I like you.Play Caption
¡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 3Play Caption
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 deportivos, gustas with the implied tú (you), and gusta with el dinero and the infinitive bailar.
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.
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!Play Caption
Cuando tú estás enfermo, te duele la cabeza,
When you're ill, your head hurts,
Captions 32-33, El Aula Azul Las Profesiones - Part 2Play Caption
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 especialPlay Caption
Aquí, a los alemanes les encanta sentarse afuera
Here, Germans love to sit outsidePlay Caption
Es una ciudad que me fascina,
It's a city that fascinates me
Caption 16, Venezolanos por el mundo Gio en BarcelonaPlay Caption
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 BarcelonaPlay Caption
An alternative translation for this second caption might be: "and I loved getting lost in its streets."
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 3Play Caption
Me hacen falta esas cantadas
I need those songs
Caption 66, Félix Carlos Hello ChamoPlay Caption
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 2Play Caption
¡Mis hijos me importan!
I care about my children!
Caption 60, Yago 3 La foto - Part 6Play Caption
This second example could also be translated more literally as "My children matter to me!"
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 LejanosPlay Caption
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 2Play Caption
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?Play Caption
¡No, no me molestas para nada! -Adiós.
No, you don't bother me at all! -Goodbye.
Caption 48, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 1Play Caption
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 LilaPlay Caption
¿Te parezco una mujer?
Do I seem like a woman to you?
Caption 29, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 1Play Caption
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 4Play Caption
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 1Play Caption
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 10Play Caption
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 4Play Caption
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 5Play Caption
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.
Let's talk about gentilicios (demonyms)! Gentilicios are words that we use as adjectives when we want to say the place where someone or something comes from. In other words, they are adjectives of nationality in Spanish! Some examples of demonyms are words like “Brazilian,” “African” or “Chinese.”
Unlike English, we don’t capitalize demonyms in Spanish:
Mejor dicho, esas que son una mezcla entre peruana y colombiano.
In other words, those that are a mix between a Peruvian girl and a Colombian guy.
Caption 35, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 1Play Caption
We form demonyms using suffixes, which most of the time need to be consistent with the gender and the number of the noun they are describing. Let’s take the suffix ano:
Roberto es mexicano | Roberto is Mexican (singular masculine)
Claudia es mexicana | Claudia is Mexican (singular feminine)
Roberto y Claudia son mexicanos | Roberto and Claudia are Mexicans (plural masculine)
Claudia y Daniela son mexicanas | Claudia and Daniela are Mexicans (plural feminine)
cuando realmente veo otros mexicanos, otros latinos,
when I see other Mexicans, other Latin people,
Caption 13, Arturo Vega - Entrevista - Part 5Play Caption
Other suffixes that are very often used to form gentilicios are és (singular masculine) and esa(singular feminine) as well as co (singular masculine) and ca (singular feminine):
De padre austriaco y madre francesa, es casi políglota de nacimiento.
From an Austrian father and French mother, he's pretty much multilingual from birth.Play Caption
We also have the suffix eño (singular masculine) as in limeño (from Lima, the capital of Peru), and the suffix í as in the demonym iraní (from Iran). The latter is used for both masculine and feminine and only changes in its plural form (iraní becomes either iranís or iraníes, both forms are correct):
o madrileño, madrileña, de Madrid, la capital de España.
or "madrileño," "madrileña," [from Madrid], from Madrid, the capital of Spain.
Caption 34, Carlos explica - Geografía y gentiliciosPlay Caption
Just like iraní, the demonym estadounidense (from the United States) is the same for the masculine and feminine forms. Some people use americano or americana when referring to someone from the US. However, if you are travelling across Latin America try to use estadounidense instead. Most people in Latin America treat the word América as a continent and not a country so using that demonym when referring to the US will certainly leave a nice impression across the Americas.
That's all for now. We would like to leave you with the following exercise: Choose 20 countries from the world and try to write the gentilicios for each one. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.