The dreaded 'gusta': actions and things
As my class was in Spanish and I thought I understood but now am confused could some help me clarify this:
Is there a difference in how gustar is conjugated in simple present tense between "pleasing" actions and things? In other words, "gusta" for nouns ("me gusta el libro") and "gustan" for actions ("me gustan ir al cine")?
Or have I misunderstood and "gustan" only applies to plur actions and things?
In gustar-like sentences the subject commonly follows the verbs. So it is gusta or gustan depending on whether the subject is plural or singular just like with any other verb. (gustar can also be conjugated just like any other verb (gusto, gustas, etc.), but beginning students usually run across only the 3rd person forms)
What I think is confusing to you is that you often see an infinitive following gustar.
Me gusta ir al cine. (to use an example previously given)
Going to the movies is pleasing to me or I like going to the movies.
Ir here is not an action (verb). The verb infinitive in Spanish can serve as what would be an English gerund ("ing" form of verb serving as a noun).
In this example, the entire clause (ir al cine) or going to the movies forms a noun clause. These noun clauses are singular, hence, the singular form of the verb, gusta.
Me gusta pescar.
I like fishing or fishing is pleasing to me. The subject is a noun (gerund, fishing). It can also be considered a prepositional phrase (to fish) serving as a noun, but usually the infinitive is translated as the gerund or "ing form".
(and before you get confused down the line in your Spanish studies, when you are introduced to the Spanish gerund, it is not the same part of speech as the English gerund, i.e., not a noun) When you speak of gerunds it is best to always differentiate between the Spanish gerund (present participle) and the English gerund (noun).
Welcome to the forum!
Gustan is for plural.
Gustar is to like as in Me gusta ese libro ...I like that book. Gustan is used for they/them as in A ellos le gustan bailar. If you wanted to use it with the pronoun I/Yo it would be A mi me gusta bailar.
Hope this helps
me gusta ir al cine
I thought gustan was for plural of whatever you/he/she/they like? So if you're talking about el libro, it is gusta, but for los libros it is gustan. The plurality of the people that like it does not matter. That's how I understood it :/
I hope you like this compilation for the use of gustar, you can find everything here