Lessons with La Profesora

A local high school Spanish teacher and tutor helps you with conversational Spanish.

¡Hola y bienvenidos!

 Let’s continue with the verb gustar, which was introduced in the last post. As a quick review, we learned how to use “me gusta” (may goos-tah) and “me gustan” (may goos-tahn) to talk about things we like and don’t like. Since our focus is conversation, talking about what we like and don’t like isn’t enough, we need to learn how to ask and answer questions. The verb gustar is a great ice-breaker when initiating conversation; talking about what food, movies, and activities we like is a natural conversation starter.

 I. Asking, “Do you like to­­­­________?"

 When talking about ourselves we use “me gusta”, but when talking to someone with whom you are on a first name basis, use “te gusta” (tay goos-tah)).

 Therefore, “Do you like (to do something)” is “¿Te gusta ______?” + the infinitive form of a verb (in Spanish the infinitive form ends in –ar, -er or –ir).

 For example, “Do you like to swim?” is:

 “¿Te gusta nadar?” (tay goos-tah nah-dahr)

 More examples:

 ¿Te gusta jugar al tenis? (who-gahr all ten-ees)  Do you like to play tennis?

 ¿Te gusta ir al cine? (ear all see-nay)  Do you like to go to the movies?

 ¿Te gusta cocinar? (koh-see-nahr)       Do you like to cook?

 ¿Te gusta viajar? (vee-ah-har)              Do you like to travel?


II. Asking, “Do you like (one thing)?”

 This is almost the same as above, but instead of using a verb use a singular noun.

 ¿Te gusta el fútbol? (el fewt-bol)   Do you like soccer?

 ¿Te gusta la pizza?                          Do you like pizza?

 ¿Te gusta la playa? (la ply-ah)        Do you like the beach?

 ¿Te gusta “American Idol”              Do you like “American Idol”?


 III. Asking, “Do you like (more than one thing)?”

 The only difference here is that instead of “gusta”,use “gustan”. Gustan is used only when referring to plural nouns.

 ¿Te gustan los deportes? (los day-port-ays)              Do you like sports?

 ¿Te gustan los animales? (los ah-nee-mahl-ays)        Do you like animals?

 ¿Te gustan las películas? (lahs pay-lee-ku-lahs)         Do you like movies?

 ¿Te gustan las manzanas? (lahs mahn-zahn-ahs)       Do you like apples?


To sum up, you have three choices when asking someone about what they like:

 1)      te gusta + infinitive (do you like to_______)

 2)      te gusta + singular noun

 3)      te gustan + plural noun

 It’s really pretty simple.

 Remember, this form of gustar is used when talking to one person, with whom you are on a first name basis. In future posts we’ll cover other ways to use gustar.


When answering ¿Te gusta? your choices are:

 Sí, me gusta:                   Yes, I like it

 Sí, me gusta mucho:       Yes, I like it a lot

 No me gusta:                   I don’t like it

 No me gusta para nada:  I don’t like it at all


When answering ¿Te gustan? your choices are:

 Sí, me gustan (mucho)

 No me gustan (para nada)

 Now would be a good time to get out that old Spanish-English dictionary that’s been in the bottom desk drawer forever and start practicing “me gusta-te gusta” questions and answers. When you get a few you’re really proud of, put them in the comment section and show off your hard work!

 Today’s link:   http://video.about.com/spanish/

These are short videos, some less than two minutes, that will really jumpstart your language. They have everything from verb conjugations in various tenses to how to say “please” and “thank you”. There’s something here for every level. Just keep in mind that you will hear the Spanish from Spain, in which “c” sounds like “th” (“gracias” will be “grathias”). Don’t let that throw you off, in fact it’s good practice.




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