Spanish gustar type verbs
There are some verbs in Spanish that use the indirect object pronoun as a substitute of the subject that would appear in English translation. The subject in an English sentence becomes the indirect object in Spanish. The most common verb is in the category that most of the books apply is “Gustar”, which many native English-speakers translate to “like” when it means to be pleasing in Spanish.
Let’s see an example:
I like the story
The story: Direct Object
Let’s see now the English expression that would translate the Spanish version.
The story is pleasing to me
The story: Subject
is pleasing: Verb
To me: Indirect Object.
Do you see what I mean?… Let’s see it in Spanish
Me gusta el cuento
Literal translation: The story is pleasing to me
Actual translation in English: I like the story
Subject: Who or what is doing the verb? The story/ El cuento (is being liked, or esta siendo gustado)
To Whom the story is being liked? To me. Therefore ME is the Direct Object.
Remember that the subject always is related to the verb. For example, if you say Nos gusta la casa, the verb is refering to the casa, that is why is “gusta” and not “gustan”. Other examle is, “Nos gustan las casas”, again, the verb follows the subject, “nos gustan: is plural because the subject is plural “lascasas”.
|Me gusta el trabajo||Me gustan los trabajos|
|Te gusta el juego||Te gustan los juegos|
|Le gusta la computadora||Le gustan las computadoras|
|Nos gusta la ciudad||Nos gustan las ciudades|
|Les gusta la cocina||Les gustan las cocinas|
These types of verbs always include a Indirect Object Pronoun.
If the sentence begins with an inderect object (IO), then the emphasis would be in the person. Let’s see an example:
Me agrada su sonrisa (I am pleased by your smile)
Verb: Agrada (Present of agradar)
Subject: What or Who is performing the action? The smile (su sonrisa)
Inderect Object: To Whom the smile is pleasing? To me. Then ME is the indirect Object.
Nos molestan los ruidos
Verb: Molestan. Present of Molestar (to bother)
Subject: Who or what is performing the verb? Los ruidos
To whom los ruidos are bothering? To us. Therefor Nos is the indirect Object
If you want to emphasize that “to us” the noise is bothering….. you can express it in Spanish like this:
A nosotros nos molestan los ruidos.
Although the word “nos” is clear that is “to us”, in Spanish you can include it in order to emphasize that is TO US that the NOISE is bothering. In order to express an emotion.
A nosotros nos agrada el verano
We are expressing a feeling. “To us” the summer is pleasing.
Placement of the “a” and the pronoun
When the indirect object falls at the end of the sentence, the prepositional phrase such as “a mí” or “a nosotros” is located after the verb instead of in front of the indirect object pronoun.
La política te interesa a ti
Verb: interesa (Present of interesar, (to interest))
Subject: La política
To Whom politics are interesting? To you. Te is the indirect object, and a ti is the emphasis that TO YOU politics are interesting.
Politics are interesting for you. Are they? This sentence is an example in English when do you want to express certainty that the politics are interesting for you. In English you do not have exact translation of “a ti” again. This is why I wanted to give a similar expression, where you repeat to indirect objects. “A ti” and its pronoun TE
If the sentence finishes with an indirect object, the emphasis would be placed on the subject and not in the person.
Let’s see some examples:
Los días soleados me gustan (the sunny days are pleasing to me)
Verb: gustan. Present of gustar.
Subject: Los días soleados (sunny days)
To Whom the sunny days are pleasing? To me. Then ME is the inderct object, that goes in the end
La tecnología le atrae
Verb: Atrae. Present of atraer (to attract, to appeal to someone)
Subject: La tecnología
To Whom the technology is appealing? LE. Then le is the indirect object that could be referring to him, her (a el, a ella)
Similar verbs like the Type-gustar construction
Common Verbs like Gustar
|aburrir||to bore||faltar||to be lacking|
|agradar||to please||fascinar||to fascinate|
|alegrar||to gladden||fastidiar||to annoy|
|apasionar||to love||gustar||to please|
|apetecer||to feel like||hacer falta||to be missed|
|atraer||to attract||importar||to matter|
|bastar||to be enough||interesar||to interest|
|caber||to fit, to fill||molestar||to bother|
|convenir||to be better for||parecer||to appear to be|
|corresponder||to be responsible for||picar||to itch|
|costar||to cost||preocupar||to worry|
|disgustar||to disgust||quedar||to remain|
|doler||to hurt||repugnar||to disgust|
|encantar||to delight||sobrar||to be left over|
|extrañar||to surprise||tocar||to be responsible for|