More About Gustar and Gustar Verbs
Espero que le guste el español! In the last article we looked at how someone would say they like something, using the verb gustar in the present tense. In this article we will see how gustar is used in some of the other tenses you are familiar with. And we will look at a few other verbs that act like gustar, known as gustar verbs.
As you recall, gustar takes an indirect object pronoun (me, te, le, les, nos), which indicates to whom is receiving the pleasure form the object or activity. Gustar is conjugated depending on if the object or activity is singular or plural (gusta or gustan in the present tense). Look at a few examples for review:
I like this restaurant. – Me gusta este restaurante.
They like the Spanish lessons. – Les gustan las lecciones de español.
We like to travel. – Nos gusta viajar.
Now let’s look at how gustar is used in some of the other tenses. Fortunately, the indirect object pronouns used with gustar in any tense, remain the same. And gustar will be conjugated to conform to the respective tense that you are using.
Due the popularity of the article about the present subjunctive tense, let’s start with it. In the present subjunctive tense, gustar will be conjugated as either ‘guste’ (object is singular) or ‘gusten’ (object is plural). The indirect pronoun remains the same. Remember in any subjunctive sentence there is some element of uncertainty, desire, or doubt. If you need review of the present subjunctive tense, look again at the article called “Spanish Hopes Desires and Uncertainties”.
I hope you like Spanish. – Espero que te guste el español.
He hopes she likes the ring. – Espera que le gueste el anillo.
We want you to like the play. – Quieremos que le guste el teatro.
They want them to like the gifts. – Queiren que les gusten los regalos.
Now take a look at how gustar is used with the simple past or preterit tense. Remember the preterit tense generally refers to a stated or implied fixed point in time in the past. Gustar will be conjugated as ‘gustó’ or ‘gustaron’, and the indirect pronoun remains the same.
I liked the party last night. – Me gustó la fiesta anoche.
They liked the movie yesterday. – Les gustó la película ayer.
We liked flowers in your garden. – Nos gustaron las flores en tú jardín.
She liked the flowers too. – Le gustaron las flores tambíen.
Remember the imperfect tense? You use it when you want to describe something that was on-going in the past, or the way things used to be. Any “ing” word in the past will be in the imperfect tense. If you would like to review the imperfect tense, look again at the article called “A Not So Perfect Spanish Tense”. Gustar in the imperfect will be conjugated as ‘gustaba’ or ‘gustaban’. The indirect pronouns are still the same.
I used to like living in the U.S. – Me gustaba vivir en estados unidos.
They liked playing golf. – Les gustaba jugar golf.
We liked listening to the music in the park. – Nos gustaba escuchar música en el parque.
He used to like the nightclubs. – Le gustaban los centros nocturnos.
She was liking it. – A ella le gustaba.
And lastly let’s look at gustar in the present perfect tense: If you would like to review the present perfect tense, take another look at the article called “A Very Perfect Spanish Tense”. You use gustar in the present perfect to say you or someone has liked something. In this tense you start out with one of the same indirect object pronouns (me, te, le, les, nos). Then, like in all perfect tenses, the respective conjugated form of haber (he, ha, has, han, hemos) is used. Next comes the past participle of gustar, ‘gustado’. Look at these examples:
I have liked working for you. Me he gustado trabajar para usted.
They have liked living in Panamá. – Les ha gustado vivir en Panamá.
Up to this point, she has not liked the trip. Hasta este punto, a ella no le ha gustado el viaje.
We have not liked being here. – No nos ha gustado estar aquí.
Here are several other Spanish verbs that act like gustar (gustar verbs) in the present tense. These verbs are conjugated the same as gustar would be in all the other tenses.
Sobrar. To have left over.
I only have two dollars left. Me sobran solo dos dólores.
We have three bottles of wine left over. – Nos sobran tres botellas de vino.
You have more than five minutes left over. – Tiene más de cinco minutos que le sobran.
They have food left over from the party. Les sobra comida de la fiesta.
Faltar. To lack or miss something.
I’m missing a fork. - Me falta un tenedor.
She is missing two buttons on her shirt. - Le faltan dos botónes en su camisa.
What are they missing? – ¿Qué les falta?
We are lacking motivation. - Nos falta motivación.
Encantar. To be enchanted or to love things, (not people).
I love the music. – Me encanta la música.
He loves to play the guitar. Le encanta tocar la guitarra.
They love sweet things. – Les encantan las cosas dulces.
We love the photo. – Nos encanta la foto.
Interesar. To be interested in something, to have interest.
I’m interested in learning Spanish. - Me interesa aprender español.
She is interested in many things. – Le interesan muchas cosas.
They are interested in going to Panmaná. – Les interesa ir a Panamá.
We are interested in buying your car. – Nos interesa comprar tu coche.
One last thing to remember when using gustar and gustar verbs. A direct object pronoun (la, lo, las, los) is not used to say ‘it’. The known ‘it’ is already implied in the verb. Look at these examples:
I like it. – Me gusta.
She liked it. – Le gustó
They were liking it. – Les gustaba.
I’m missing it. – Me falta.
They are interested in it. – Les interesa.
We love it. – Nos encanta.
You will find using gustar and gustar verbs is not that difficult. I think you will ‘like or be pleased’ with Spanish a lot more, once you become familiar with gustar and other gustar verbs. I hope so! What is nice is you can always say to someone, you like something. It is a good way to start a conversation.
Hope this helps!