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Talking about likes & dislikes

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1 Talking about likes & dislikes
When we talk in Spanish about activities we like and dislike, we can use the verb GUSTA.

2 Why is this verb special?
Compare these pairs of sentences: I like to swim/Me gusta nadar. You like to swim/Te gusta nadar. She likes to swim/Le gusta nadar.

3 What’s happening here? Note that the verb does not change for different persons: Me gusta nadar. Te gusta nadar. Le gusta nadar. What does change is the person who is affected (i.e., the person who “likes”).

4 !!sdrawkcab knihT The subject of the sentence in Spanish is the object in English. It is literally translated as “Swimming is pleasing to me/you/her.” But we rarely express likes in this fashion in English. When you want to talk about likes in Spanish, THINK BACKWARDS – the Spanish subject is the English object and the English object is the Spanish subject.

5 Say what? I like reading. Me gusta leer.
“I” is the subject and “reading” is the object in this English sentence. Me gusta leer. “Leer” is the subject and “me” is the object in the equivalent Spanish sentence.

6 In other words… … what changes in Spanish is the person affected: me, you, him, her, it, us, them: Me gusta estudiar español. Te gusta estudiar español. Le gusta estudiar español. Nos gusta estudiar español. Les gusta estudiar español.

7 … and… The verb GUSTA does not change when its subject is another verb (always the –r, or infinitive, form): Me gusta escuchar música. Le gusta trabajar. No nos gusta estudiar. Me gusta caminar y correr.

8 Who’s who? The object forms – called “indirect objects” – are:
Me > me Te > you Le > him, her, “Ud.” Nos > us Les > them, “Uds.”

9 Let’s practice! Talk about your own likes and dislikes with regard to these activities: estudiar español leer novelas escuchar música clásica mirar la televisión

10 What did you decide? Did you say something like…
Me gusta estudiar español. Me gusta leer novelas. Me gusta escuchar música clásica. Me gusta mirar la televisión. To express dislikes, simply put no in front of the object: No me gusta estudiar español. No me gusta leer novelas. No me gusta escuchar música clásica. No me gusta mirar la televisión.

11 A little variety… Change the sentences to talk about other people’s likes. (YOU) estudiar español (SHE) leer novelas (WE) escuchar música clásica (THEY) mirar la televisión

12 Check your answers! (YOU): Te gusta estudiar español.
(SHE): Le gusta leer novelas. (WE): Nos gusta escuchar música clásica. (THEY): Les gusta mirar la televisión.

13 That’s a wrap! Later on we’ll see how we can talk about liking (and disliking) things instead of activities. Stay tuned!

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