Blog » Learn Spanish » Spanish Grammar » Spanish Verb Conjugation » “Gustar” Conjugation in Spanish: As You Like It!

“Gustar” Conjugation in Spanish: As You Like It!

Have you stumbled upon the verb gustar in Spanish and felt completely and utterly baffled? We get you! Liking things in Spanish is more complicated than it looks.

Although the gustar conjugation is quite different from other verbs in Spanish, there is a logic to it. In this article, we’ll explain how to use gustar and cover its conjugation. We’ll also cover other common verbs that behave this way so you are well-prepared to use them.

Let’s dig in!

What kind of verb is gustar?

Gustar is quite a particular type of verb in Spanish. Why do you ask? Well, it just doesn’t behave like most other verbs.

Liking in English is pretty straightforward: someone likes something. Meanwhile, in Spanish, something is liked by someone. Trippy, right?

Let’s take a closer look.

Algo me gusta (Something is liked by me)

Let’s look at an example of a sentence with gustar in Spanish:

  • El rugby me gusta mucho. (I really like rugby.)

Here, the subject of the sentence is rugby. This is the thing being liked and not, as you might have thought, the person doing the liking.

As you probably know, verbs in Spanish are conjugated according to the subject. Therefore, as the subject is rugby (third-person singular), the verb gustar is conjugated as gusta.

Meanwhile, me represents the person doing the liking, which is the first person singular. This is the indirect object of the sentence. What is an indirect object? This is the person or thing affected by the verb. In this case, the person affected by (or doing) the liking.

Are you still confused? It might be helpful to translate this sentence as “Rugby is appealing to me” instead of “I like rugby.”

We’ve established that the thing or person you like is the subject of the sentence. This means gustar will mostly be conjugated only for the third person singular and plural. So gusta for singular and gustan for plural in the present tense. Technically, the gustar conjugation can be used for all persons. However, in this article, we will cover only the ones you will use: the singular and plural forms of the third person.

Alguien me gusta (I fancy someone)

In addition to our general likes and dislikes, we can also use gustar when we fancy someone.

  • Me gusta Pedro Pascal. (I fancy Pedro Pascal)
  • Me gusta el amigo de mi hermano. (I fancy my brother’s friend.)

The indirect object pronoun

In addition to having a strange subject, the verb gustar also requires the presence of an indirect object pronoun in the sentence. A pronoun is a word that replaces the indirect object. In this case, this is the person doing the liking.

Moreover, you can also explicitly mention the person doing the liking in addition to using the indirect object (IO) pronoun. This may sound repetitive, but it can be helpful if you want to clarify who you are talking about. You can do this by using a prepositional phrase. This comprises the preposition a and the personal pronoun or name of the person/s.

In the table below, we’ll look at those pronouns and gustar in the present tense to give you an idea of how to form sentences with gustar.

Prepositional phrase (optional) IO pronoun Gustar Subject
A mí me gusta nouns in singular (el chocolate)infinitive (bailar)
A ti/vos te
A él/ella/usted le
A nosotros/as nos gustan nouns in plural (las fiestas)
A vosotros/as os
A ellos/as/ustedes les

Let’s see some example sentences:

  • (A ella) le gusta el café. (She likes coffee)
  • (A ellos) les gusta caminar. (They like walking.)
  • (A mí) me gustan las novelas románticas. (I like romance novels.)

You can also use the name of the person instead of a personal pronoun for the prepositional phrase:

  • A Juan y a María les gusta correr. (Juan and María like running.)
  • A Romina le gustan los vinilos. (Romina likes vinyl records.)

Gustar in the negative

Before we move on to the full gustar conjugation, we will add one more thing to your toolkit: how to say you don’t like something.

This part is quite simple. You only have to add a “no” before the indirect object pronoun:

  • No me gusta la sopa. (I don’t like soup.)
  • No nos gustan los deportes. (We don’t like sports.)

Verbals of gustar: infinitive, gerund and participle

Now that we know how this verb works, let’s dig into the gustar conjugation. We’ll look at its verbals first: the infinitive, the gerund, and the participle. Verbals are forms of the verb that function as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs instead of actual verbs. If you haven’t come across them before, this may sound tricky. But we promise it’s pretty straightforward, as you’ll see with the examples below.


Gustar (like)

  • Yo sé que te va a gustar. (I know you’re going to like it.)
  • Quiero gustarle. (I want him/her to like me.)


Gustando (liking)

  • Este libro me está gustando. (I’m liking this book.)


Gustado (liked)

  • Me ha gustado mucho esta canción. (I’ve really liked this song.)
  • ¿No te ha gustado? (Didn’t you like it?)

Gustar conjugation for all levels

I like it!: gustar conjugation for beginners

As you’re probably tired of reading by now, the Spanish indicative mood has ten tenses. We’ll first go over the most common and simplest forms of the cerrar conjugation of the indicative mood: presente (present), pretérito imperfecto (imperfect preterite, a form of the past tense), pretérito perfecto (perfect preterite, another form of the past tense) and futuro (future).

Subject Indirect Object Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite Perfect Preterite Future
Singular noun or infinitive verb me/te/lenos/os/les gusta gustaba gustó gustará
Plural noun me/te/lenos/os/les gustan gustaban gustaron gustarán

Gustar conjugation examples for beginners

  • Present: ¿Te gustan las cortinas? (Do you like the curtains?)
  • Imperfect preterite: ¡Hace años que no me gustaba tanto una película! (I haven’t like a film this much in years!)
  • Perfect preterite: ¿Te gustaron los regalos? (Did you like the presents?)
  • Future: Estoy segura de que a José le gustará el libro. (I’m sure José will like the book.)

I love it!: gustar conjugation for intermediate students

We’ve got the basics down, and it’s time to level up! In this section, we’ll focus on the compound tenses of the gustar conjugation in the indicative mood.

In these tenses, the verb that does the changing is haber. The only form of gustar that is actually used here is the participle “gustado” that we say at the beginning of this article. This is because the compound tenses in Spanish are formed with the correct form of the verb haber + the past participle of the verb in question (i.e., gustado), which is the one that carries the meaning.

In the table below you’ll find the pretérito perfecto (preterite perfect), pluscuamperfecto (pluperfect) and futuro compuesto (future perfect) tenses for gustar. If you want some extra help, you should look at our article on the haber conjugation.

Subject Indirect Object Pronoun Preterite Perfect Pluperfect Future Perfect
Singular noun or infinitive verb me/te/lenos/os/les ha gustado había gustado habrá gustado
Ellos (Them) me/te/lenos/os/les han gustado habían gustado habrán gustado

Gustar conjugation examples for intermediate students

  • Preterite perfect: A Mónica no le ha gustado tu respuesta. (Mónica did not like your answer.)
  • Pluperfect: Al principio, me había gustado, pero ya no. (I liked it in the beginning but not anymore.)
  • Future perfect: ¿Les habrá gustado la cena? (Have they liked dinner?)

I’m obsessed: gustar conjugation for advanced learners

Are you ready to get obsessed with the gustar conjugation? In this section, we’ll cover the subjunctive mood. This Spanish mood is indeed quite, well, moody. It is used to express doubts, emotions, desires, and the unknown! In this section, we’ll cover the presente (present), imperfecto (imperfect) and futuro (future) tenses for the gustar conjugation.

Subject IO Pronoun Present Imperfect Future
Usted (You, formal)El/Ella (He/She/It) me/te/lenos/os/les guste gustase o gustara gustare
Ellos (Them) me/te/lenos/os/les gusten gustasen o gustaran gustaren

Gustar conjugation examples for advanced learners

  • Present: ¡Ojalá te guste el concierto! (I hope you like the concert!)
  • Imperfect: Si le gustaran los maricos, haría una paella. (If he/she liked seafood, I’d make a paella.)

The subjunctive future is rarely heard in conversation nowadays. It is now almost exclusively used in literature or legal contexts. That is why we haven’t added a conjugation example for the gustar subjunctive future here. However, we still think knowing what it looks like is important.

I’m extra: conditional tenses and imperative

Have you gone past the point of obsession with gustar? If so, we’ll cover three more tenses in this section: the condicional simple (simple conditional), the condicional compuesto (conditional perfect), and the imperative.

Subject Simple Conditional Conditional Perfect Imperative
Singular nouns and infinitive verbs gustaría habría gustado ¡gusta!
Plural nouns gustarían habrían gustado ¡gusten!

Cerrar conjugation examples in the conditional and imperative tenses

  • Simple conditional: ¿Te gustaría ir de vacaciones a Canadá? (Would you like to go to Canada on holiday?)
  • Conditional perfect: Si a Martín le hubiese gustado el regalo, no lo hubiese cambiado. (If Martín had liked his present, he wouldn’t have exchanged it.)

The imperative is quite odd for gustar as you would be asking the thing being liked to be appealing to the person doing the liking. We don’t think you’ll have to use it, but it’s still good to know it exists!

If you want a more detailed overview of conditional tenses, you should read this article.

Similar verbs to gustar

There are a few other verbs that work just like gustar. We’ll cover the most common ones here so you know how to use them.

Encantar (to love)

This verb means to love something. If you love someone, you can use the verb amar.

Let’s see some examples:

  • ¡Me encantan tus zapatos! (I love your shoes!)
  • A Pablo y a Margarita les encanta surfear. (Pablo and Margarita love surfing.)

Aburrir (to bore)

If something bores you, this is the verb for you.

You can say something like:

  • ¡Me aburren las matemáticas! (Maths bore me!)
  • ¿No te aburre esta obra? (Aren’t you bored by this play?)

Fascinar (to fascinate/intrigue)

I am fascinated by grammar, how about you?

  • Me fascina tu trabajo. (I am intrigued by your job.)
  • Les fascinan las películas de terror. (They are fascinated by horror films.)

Parecer (to think/feel)

Parecer is a verb with several meanings, such as “seem” or “appear”. The meaning it has when it is used like gustar is that of thinking or feeling a certain way.

Let’s look at some examples:

  • Nos parece que estás equivocado. (We think you are wrong.)
  • ¿No os parece muy caro? (Don’t you think it’s too expensive?)

Molestar (to annoy/bother)

Are you annoyed by Spanish grammar? Learn how to share this!

  • Te molestan las moscas. (Flies annoy you.)
  • ¿Les molesta si fumo? (Does it bother you if I smoke?)

Preocupar (to worry)

If you want to express your worries or concerns in Spanish, here are some examples:

  • Me preocupa la economía. (I am worried about the economy.)
  • ¿No os preocupa que no haya llegado? (Aren’t you worried she/he/it has not arrived yet?)

Doler (to hurt)

Finally, if you want to explain that something hurts when visiting the doctor, you might want to look at these sentences:

  • Me duele el estómago. (My stomach hurts.)
  • ¿Te duelen las muelas? (Do you have a toothache?)

It might also be useful to learn these body parts in Spanish for your doctor’s visit.

Final thoughts on the gustar conjugation

We hope this guide on the gustar conjugation has answered your question on how this verb works. If you want more information on Spanish conjugations, feel free to check out our overview of Spanish tenses.

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

Learning the gustar conjugation might seem daunting at first, but don’t worry, it comes naturally with practice.

Test your skills and see what you’ve learned from this article by playing a selection of sentences with forms of the verb gustar.

Sign up here to save your progress and start getting fluent with thousands of Spanish sentences at Clozemaster.

Clozemaster has been designed to help you learn the language in context by filling in the gaps in authentic sentences. With features such as Grammar Challenges, Cloze-Listening, and Cloze-Reading, the app will let you emphasize all the competencies necessary to become fluent in Spanish.

Take your Spanish to the next level. Click here to start practicing with real Spanish sentences!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *