The difference between putting 'me' or alternative (like 'lo') before or after a verb?

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now i know cuéntame is tell me and muéstrame is show me, but what i've always wanted to know is what if the 'me' is put before the verb. what would the meaning become?

like Me gusta is literaly "it pleases me" but what would the meaning be if it was gustame?

thanks in advance!

12171 views
updated AGO 27, 2008
posted by xeriva

21 Answers

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TimEivissa said:

To Lazarus: So can "Me" be placed after any verb in Spanish'I'm very sorry if you've explained this already but I have tried to read it all and it's very early in the morning here!(6:00am!)

Yes, but only with me, te, se, le, nos, os, or les, and used as indirect objects in certain constructions (see some examples in this thread).

updated AGO 27, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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TimEivissa said:

To Lazarus:So can "Me" be placed after any verb in Spanish'I'm very sorry if you've explained this already but I have tried to read it all and it's very early in the morning here!(6:00am!)

Yes, Tim, that's correct, after the infinitve:

No sé cómo puede gustarte ese hombre.

¿Gustarme? ¡Me encanta!

updated AGO 27, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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To Lazarus:
So can "Me" be placed after any verb in Spanish'I'm very sorry if you've explained this already but I have tried to read it all and it's very early in the morning here!(6:00am!)

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by TimEivissa
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I can see both Heidi's and Jame's points, but why don't we all settle for "be pleasing" rather than "please" when it comes to use, and "like" when we want a proper translation'

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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We may be arguing semantics, but I stand by my statement. It is based on the fact that there is no verb in Spanish that both means and functions as "to like." Me gusta pan means I like bread, but the verb doesn't function as "to like."

Anyway, there is no point in our continuing to argue over this point. I will continue to tell non-native Spanish speakers that gustar means (from an English perspective) to please, even though it translates as "to like," because that helps them understand how to use the verb. The same applies with encantar, which I say means "to charm," even though it translates as "to love," because again using the meaning of to charm makes the verb encantar work in the English-speaking brain.

"Me encanta el español" = "Spanish charms me" = "I love Spanish"

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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[i]

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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James Schneider said:

James, So if someone wanted to say " I really like that house" would it be "Me gusta esa casa", "Me gusta esa casa mucho" or what ?

Yes, that's right, except that you have to use mucho to convey "really." Mucho usually comes after the verb it modifies, so we would say "Me gusta mucho esa casa."

See, you're not dense after all! wink

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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James,
So if someone wanted to say " I really like that house" would it be "Me gusta esa casa", "Me gusta esa casa mucho" or what ? I'm a bit on the dense side but am working on it ! LOL!

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by James-Schneider
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(To add my "feather weight" opinion to those of Lazaro and James), Yes, Heidita, they (English speakers) have to think in terms of "it is pleasing to me" or they'll never get it right. They (english speakers), of course, have the same problem with French and Italian. From the simple point of numerical superiority (counting languages, and, maybe, "speakers of language), in English we say it "backwards".

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by samdie
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It does not mean to please, but it is easier for an English speaker to udnerstand it this way.

From an English standpoint, which is what we are dealing with here, it most certainly does mean to please. That is, we have a verb in English (to please) that functions grammatically in the same way as gustar. If learners of Spanish realize this, they will stop making mistakes like "Me gusto mucho esa casa" when trying to say "I really like that house." That is, if you realize that gustar means to please, phrases such as "Me gustan las manzanas" become perfectly logical and easy to form.

I'm not trying to teach you, Heidita, how to use gustar, but rather xeriva, and teaching it this way is very effective. I have taught many Americans how to use gustar this way, and it almost always works (there is always someone who is just too dense to get it).

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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James said:

so what would gustame mean? would it be imperative, like "like me!"Disabuse yourself of the idea that gustar means to like. It means to please. Therefore, gústame would literally be "please me." I've never heard that, but I suppose it's possible.

It does not mean to please, but it is easier for an English speaker to udnerstand it this way.

me gustas= I like you

¿Te gusto? Do you like me'

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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xeriva said:

so what would gustame mean? would it be imperative, like "like me!"

I don't think you can use an imperative with a verb like that (at least according to general linguistics), but it probably doesn't sound so weird because it could always be regarded as a short version of "(I want you to) like me!". Still, I can't imagine someone using an imperative like this: "Like each other right now. It is an order!".

However, in Spanish the verb "gustar" doesn't have as a grammatical subject the real agent, but the object of desire, so whereas in English you could try something as extravagant as "Like that stone! It's an order", in Spanish the same order would go to the stone: "Stone: be pleasant to him / be liked by him! It is an order". No, you can't. And even other similar verbs that work like in English (e.g. "encontrar atractivo", to find attractive) can't be used in imperative.

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Marco said:

Actually this is the question that I have been wanting to know for long time as I mentioned before about "decírme" - this kind of words and how to put a verb and "me", "se", etc together. So I think you just gave me the beginning of this questions. Is there any rules that you could tell me? Just want to know more about this.

Ok, let me expand those rules:

Direct object pronouns: me, te, se, lo, la, los, las, nos, os, los, las.
Indirect object pronouns: me, te, se, le, nos, os, les.

You cannot use the direct object pronouns with verbs that are used intransitively, so "gustarlo" would be wrong, but not "gustarme".

The imperative requires that the pronouns are attached to it (e.g. ponlo). A negative imperative is done using the present subjunctive, so the pronoun must be in front of it (e.g. No lo pongas).

The pronouns are also normally attached to the infinitive (e.g. ponerlo) and the present participle (e.g. poniéndolo), but they can be placed sometimes in certain constructions (esp. most periphrases):

1) Certain verbs like "querer": Quiero verlo / Lo quiero ver.
2) The periphrasis "Ir a + infinitive": Voy a verlo / Lo voy a ver.
3) The periphrasis "Estar + past participle": Estoy viéndolo / Lo estoy viendo
4) The periphrasis "Tener que + infinitive": Tengo que verlo / Lo tengo que ver.
5) The periphrasis "Deber + infinitive": Debes verlo / Lo debes ver.

But it is not possible with other constructions:

1) The periphrasis "Hay que + infinitive": Hay que verlo / Lo hay que ver.

The list is not exhaustive, of course.

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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so what would gustame mean? would it be imperative, like "like me!"

Disabuse yourself of the idea that gustar means to like. It means to please. Therefore, gústame would literally be "please me." I've never heard that, but I suppose it's possible.

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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so what would gustame mean? would it be imperative, like "like me!"

updated AGO 26, 2008
posted by xeriva