Forming Sentences with Gustar

Forming sentences with gustar is a very difficult topic for beginning Spanish speakers. Saying what you like if something you'd expect to learn fairly early on, but these sentences involve a lot of advanced grammar topics! We'll go more in depth on many of these grammatical topics later, but now we'll just talk about how to put this kind of sentence together. Basically, the issue is that gustar, though often translated as "to like,"actually means"to please." So, rather than saying "I like pizza," you have to put together a sentence that basically says "Pizza is pleasing to me."

Here are the rules:

You have to put the word A beforethe person who likes something.
You can't say A yo..., you have to say a mí.
You can't say A tú..., you have to say a ti.

Choose the indirect object pronoun depending on the person who likes or is pleased by something. If it is clear from the context who is doing the liking, you can leave out the amí / a ti / a (etc.) and just start your sentence here. This chart should help you choose which one you need:

él, ella, Ud.leellos, ellas, Uds.les

Put the word no right in front of the indirect object pronoun (me, te, etc.) if someone doesn't like something.

One singular nounA plural noun
One verbMultiple nouns
Multiple nouns

If you're mentioning that someone likes or dislikes a noun you have to use the definite article (el, la, los, or las)

Here is a formula for the entire sentence:

(A + __________ )
    name, mí, ti, él, etc.
(if a noun, put el, la, los or las first)

In the examples below, the first translation is how we would often say the sentence in English. The second is a more literal, word for word translation from Spanish.

Me gustan los deportes. I like sports. To me, sports are pleasing.
A ella le gustabailar y cantar. She likes to dance and sing. To her, it's pleasing to dance and sing.
Nosgustan la pizza, el helado, y lashamburguesas. We like pizza, ice cream, and hamburgers. To us, pizza, ice cream, and hamburgers are pleasing.
A María y Elena les gusta comer. María and Elena like to eat. To María and Elena, it's pleasing to eat.
¿Te gustan los videojuegos? Do you like videogames? To you, are videogames pleasing?

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