Can we discuss this list of verbs that are "like" gustar?

Can we discuss this list of verbs that are "like" gustar?


Verbs like “gustar” : I recently encountered this list and I am trying to come to grips with the significance of it. Can anyone enlighten me (us) on this subject? Thanks for your responses! DonL.

aburrir: to bore fascinar: to be fascinating to bastar: to be sufficient importar: to be important to caer bien (mal): to (not) suit interesar: to be interesting to dar asco: to be loathsome molestar: to be a bother disgustar: to hate something parecer: to appear to be doler (o:ue): to be painful picar: to itch encantar: to "love" something quedar: to be left over, remain faltar: to be lacking something volver (o:ue) loco: to be crazy about

updated ENE 15, 2010
posted by Don-Linton

6 Answers


What would normally be the subject in English is instead the indirect object of the verb:

me encanta Ecuador = I love Ecuador

Note that the verb encantar is conjugated to the thing I love (Ecuador) instead of to me, ie. it's not encanto.

updated AGO 26, 2014
edited by lorenzo9
posted by lorenzo9
Good reply, this is how I remember them as well... - gadjetman, ENE 15, 2010

Hola Don:

Lorenzo has brought up a good point regarding the fact that it might be helpful to recognize how the indirect object is being used with these types of verbs.

It might help to examine a more literal translation of each of these verbs:


• Me encanta - It enchants me/It is enchanting to me (I love it)

• Te encanto - I enchant you/I am enchanting to you (You love me)

• Me encantas - You enchant me/You are enchanting to me (I love you)


• Me aburre - It bores me/it is boring to me

• Te aburro - I bore you/I am boring to you (you're bored by me)

• Me aburres - You bore me/You are boring to me (I am bored by you)


• Me fascina - It fascinates me/it is fascinating to me

• Te fascino - I fascinate you/I am fascinating to you (You're fascinated/enthralled by me/You love me)

• Me fascinas - You fascinate me/You are fascinating to me

See if you can figure out from these examples how the other verbs that you have listed might work similarly.

updated AGO 26, 2014
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
Great help! Muchas gracias. I guess I neeed to memorize these verbs!? - Don-Linton, ENE 15, 2010
I hope the"direct object" was referring to the English sentence, because in Spanish these are intransitive sentences (no d.o.) - 0074b507, ENE 15, 2010
Thanks for catching the typo qfreed. - Izanoni1, ENE 15, 2010

The sentence in Spanish is structured differently than in English, where the verb is conjugated according to the person doing the action (I like the books.

They are, indeed, structured differently. However the rest of your sentence is a reflection of English-speakers' bias. In English the *action" is liking, hating, etc., in Spanish the "action" is pleasing, repelling/being distasteful, etc. In other words, in the Spanish constructions that cause problems for English speakers, the "action" is to cause/provoke a feeling/emotion while in the English constructions the "action" is to experience/suffer the corresponding emotion.

There is no rational/logical basis for choosing one formulation over the other. In point of fact, both in English and Spanish, there are many examples of both approaches. The problems arise when one expects that both languages should adopt the same viewpoint in all cases.

updated ENE 15, 2010
posted by samdie

















updated ENE 15, 2010
edited by Luciente
posted by Luciente
repugnar and chiflar, as well. - samdie, ENE 15, 2010
I'm a beginner would it be possible to make a short sentence out of these verbs.? - Maria-Russell, ENE 15, 2010

One can only assume that Spanish speakers learning English also construct lists of "backward" verbs for English (verbs for which the natural (from their point of view) subject/object order is inverted. Basically, of course, both points of view are stupid. There is no natural order; there is only the conventional order/viewpoint supported by various languages. Neither viewpoint is right/wrong they are simply different.

updated ENE 15, 2010
posted by samdie

What you are actually saying when you use these verbs is that you are fascinated by (fascinar), bored by (aburrir), pleased by (gustar), etc The sentence in Spanish is structured differently than in English, where the verb is conjugated according to the person doing the action (I like the books. He likes the books). In Spanish, the thing or things that are pleasing you determine the conjugation of the verb.

Por ejemplo - A mí me gustan los libros. A ti te fascinan las noticias. A Juan le aburre la clase de historia. A nosotros nos molestan las arañas. A las chicas les falta el dinero para comprar vestidos nuevos.

updated ENE 15, 2010
posted by profe_de
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