Gustar, how to say «like» or «dislike» in Spanish

In English «to like» is a regular verb that takes a direct object: I like running, do you like to go to the gym?…

To say what you like and don’t like in Spanish you have to use the verb gustar, which literally means «to be pleasing».  It can sound a bit odd, but in the video below everything is perfectly explained.

How to say I like in Spanish

Don’t forget to write down all the relevant information in your notebook while you watch the video.

Notice that there are many other verbs that work like GUSTAR, it is worth it to double-check everything we have seen in the video.

Verb GUSTAR revision

When talking about liking one thing, you must use the singular GUSTA, and when you are talking about more than one thing, you use the plural GUSTAN:

Me gusta el fútbol (I like football).

Me gustan los deportes (I like sports).

If you are talking about what somebody else likes, you simple replace me with the relevant indirect object pronouns:

Le gusta el baloncesto (He likes basketball).

Les gusta el rugby (The like rugby).

Nos gusta esquiar (We like skiing).

When you need to specify a person, the order is the preposition «a» + person + indirect object pronouns + gustar:

A Carlos le gusta el baloncesto (Carlos likes basketball).

A mis amigos les gusta el rugby (My friends like rugby).

A mi familia y a mí nos gusta esquiar (My family and I like skiing).

Gustar in the past tense


To talk about liking something in the past, you use the imperfect, perfect, or preterite tense of GUSTAR:

De niño me gustaba jugar al tennis (I used to like to play tennis when I was a child).

Me ha gustado mucho el partido (I really liked the match).

Me gustó mucho ver la carrera de coches de ayer  (I really enjoyed watching the car race yesterday).

Click here to see the full GUSTAR conjugation.