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Enchufes 5A: Los alimentos y los gustos Enchufe estructural

The verb gustar

Gustar Me gusta la pizza. Me gustan los tomates. Me gusta comer la pizza. Te gusta la pizza? No me gusta la pizza. Le gusta la pizza a Hannah. In this unit the grammatical focus is the verb gustar. Gustar is a really interesting and useful verb in Spanish. You hear it all the time; its the most common verb used to express likes and dislikes in Spanish. But it works a little differently in Spanish than similar words do in English. In English we say I like pizza, so I is the subject of the sentence. I like what? I like pizza. So we do something to the pizza. In Spanish its actually reversed. In Spanish, we say me gusta la pizza ... la pizza is the subject of the sentence (pizza is pleasing to me). So the word me is not the subject. This is not yo, this is me, an object pronoun. La pizza ... me gusta ... a mi. Me gusta la pizza. Pizza is a singular noun, and so the verb is third-person singular, conjugated with just the -a on the end (gusta). Then you put the pronoun in front (me gusta la pizza). Literally, pizza is pleasing to me, but we would say I like pizza. (A lot of students want that me to be equivalent to I, but it isnt. Were going to see that later on in this unit.) Now lets talk about something like los tomates. Remember that the subject of the sentence in Spanish is the object in English; what we like in English is in Spanish a thing that has something pleasing about it. Los tomates here is plural, right (tomatoes)? Los tomates... gustan (with the -n that signals third-person plural): tomatoes are pleasing to me (me gustan los tomates). Now what happens if the subject of the sentence is not a singular noun or a plural noun but is instead a verb ... eating pizza (comer la pizza). In this case you use the infinitive. In English

we would say eating, in Spanish you say comer: eating pizza ... is pleasing ... to me (me gusta comer la pizza). The verb is always in the third-person singular, just as if the subject were a singular noun. When theres an infinitive, a verb that ends in -r, after gusta, gustar is always third-person singular, and then comes the infinitival form (comer ... la pizza). Now what if you want to ask somebody a question? You remember in the video, Julia runs up to Hannah and asks te gusta la pizza? Its sort of weird and sort of a non sequitur, but she says Te gusta la pizza? So this is the same structure we saw before. Pizza is the likeable thing: la pizza ... gusta (singular). But now shes asking, do you like it? So the pronoun she uses is te. This is not t, this not the subject of the sentence; la pizza is the subject of the sentence. This is an object pronoun. Well talk about that in more detail later, but right now all you need to know is that if youre asking someone a question, you use the pronoun te at least if its somebody who is a friend of yours or somebody your own age. If youre aksing someone you call Usted the same question, you would say Le gusta la pizza. Thats if the person is an Usted person for you. Now what if the person answers no? You just insert the word no: No me gusta la pizza. So to answer negatively, you just put the no in front of the pronoun: No me gusta la pizza. And if we want to talk about one of our friends, whether he or she likes the pizza, we use the pronoun le again: Le gusta la pizza a Hannah (pizza is pleasing to Hannah). Well talk a little bit more about what that a is doing there in the next unit.