Using DO pronouns with verbs like gustar
Can direct object pronouns be used with verbs like gustar as they are with other verbs? For example, "I like it" - "Me lo gusta"? Or does it work differently with verbs like gustar?
I would say no, you can't, in general, because gustar-like sentences are intransitive structures. (They do not have a direct object). What is seen as the object in the English construction of the sentence serves as the subject in the gustar-like sentence.
I like Mary. (Mary is the d.o. of the English sentence).
Me gusta Mary. (Mary becomes the subject of the Spanish sentence.) [Mary is pleasing to me.]
The thing with the verb "gustar" is you have to think of it has "to give pleasure" or "to please".
Gusta - It gives pleasure
Me - To me
So really the phrase "me gusta" means "it pleases me"... If you think of it as "I like it" you may get a little confused.
So, no "lo" needed.
When you say "me gusta" gusta is the form of gustar that expresses he/she/it. If you want to say "I like it/ I like her/ I like him." You simply use "me gusta" lo is not necessary and is actually redundant.
Lo is not entirely incorrect in that it does mean "it" in most cases. If you want to say that you like to do something you could say "me gusta hacerlo" I like to do it, however when you use lo, its meaning has to be in the context of the sentence that precedes it so the listener or reader knows what "it" is.
You can substitute any verb for hacer in that example. Me gusta hablarlo, I like to speak it. Me gusta probarlo, I like to try it. And so on... the possibilities are endless.
In spanish we don't use "do" because it is implicit with the verb, it's an action that we understand with conjugation. Me = I, Gusta = do like it/he/she. You can see with only one word we understand three words in english. It's the same for all the verbs, not only for do sentences. Another example, but in question: Did I answer you = Te respondí?, I = Te - Did answer you = respondí?. Hope this help you.