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Gusta or Gustan

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When would you use gustan over gusta'? I am in first year Spanish and am lost on this one. Anyone that could help would be much appreciated.

28672 views
updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by Crystal-Hadfield

13 Answers

0
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lazarus1907 said:

samdie said:

Yes but when it's that old it's often referred to as Anglo-Saxon (to suggest that it [in most senses] is a different language).

Ok, Old English, Anglo-Saxon... but that's where English started anyway, isn't it? The structure of that verb was typically Indo-European, i.e. the "liked" thing was the subject. In German you still say "Die Hose gefällt mir" (The trousers are pleasant to me = I like the trousers), and it is a common pattern in other Indo-European roots. English deviation from this pattern is actually an improvement, but we shouldn't forget our roots and history.


Would you also recommend other "improvements" to English such as:
That sounds/smells/looks/tastes nice (to me) --> I like the sound/smell/look/taste of that.
That seems silly (to me) --> Methinks that is silly.
It wears me out --> I am worn out by it (I can't think of a way to do this with an active verb).

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by samdie
0
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lazarus1907 said:

To me, from a "human" point of view, it makes more sense to have a subject as a subject of a verb, don't you think? A logical and consistent language is easy to learn, to translate, to interpret, to decode by machines... On top of that, I have witnessed countless times how Spanish speakers doubted for a short while how to say sentences including "gustar", in which the subject was a 1st or a 2nd person (most of the time is in 3rd person), and even make mistakes, get confused, and try to figure out what went wrong. For objects in 3rd person is pretty straight forward, but once you introduce two people in the equation, the logic doesn't come easy for natives either... because it is confusing to our way of thinking.

English has successfully simplified many structures and words, and yet is a language capable to accurately express very complex ideas. The main problem (and not the only one) is that it is one of the most illogical languages in the world when it comes to spelling, and that confuses everyone!


I have to assume from your response that by "from a "human" point of view, it makes more sense to have a subject as a subject" you mean "from a human point of view, it makes more sense to have a human as a subject". I say this because Italian, Spanish and French (and, presumably, the other Romance languages) as well as (by your report) German and Anglo-Saxon and (by my report), Japanese, get along quite nicely with the "inverted" structure.

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

To me, from a "human" point of view, it makes more sense to have a subject as a subject of a verb, don't you think? A logical and consistent language is easy to learn, to translate, to interpret, to decode by machines... On top of that, I have witnessed countless times how Spanish speakers doubted for a short while how to say sentences including "gustar", in which the subject was a 1st or a 2nd person (most of the time is in 3rd person), and even make mistakes, get confused, and try to figure out what went wrong. For objects in 3rd person is pretty straight forward, but once you introduce two people in the equation, the logic doesn't come easy for natives either... because it is confusing to our way of thinking.

English has successfully simplified many structures and words, and yet is a language capable to accurately express very complex ideas. The main problem (and not the only one) is that it is one of the most illogical languages in the world when it comes to spelling, and that confuses everyone!

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

lazarus1907 said:

samdie said:

Yes but when it's that old it's often referred to as Anglo-Saxon (to suggest that it [in most senses] is a different language).

Ok, Old English, Anglo-Saxon... but that's where English started anyway, isn't it? The structure of that verb was typically Indo-European, i.e. the "liked" thing was the subject. In German you still say "Die Hose gefällt mir" (The trousers are pleasant to me = I like the trousers), and it is a common pattern in other Indo-European roots. English deviation from this pattern is actually an improvement, but we shouldn't forget our roots and history.


I, too, am a big fan of "roots and history" (in fact, I don't really understand why you would label the English "deviation" an "improvement"). The Romance languages (and, as you mention German) seem to do nicely without deviating.

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

samdie said:

Yes but when it's that old it's often referred to as Anglo-Saxon (to suggest that it [in most senses] is a different language).

Ok, Old English, Anglo-Saxon... but that's where English started anyway, isn't it? The structure of that verb was typically Indo-European, i.e. the "liked" thing was the subject. In German you still say "Die Hose gefällt mir" (The trousers are pleasant to me = I like the trousers), and it is a common pattern in other Indo-European roots. English deviation from this pattern is actually an improvement, but we shouldn't forget our roots and history.

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

lazarus1907 said:

samdie said:

Something along the lines of: 1668 Pepys Diary 22 Nov., My boy's livery is come home..and it likes me well enough. perhaps?

Something like "Me gusta la carne", where the subject is the meat, and the pronoun determines who is pleased by the meat. But I'm not talking about modern English anyway:

Me geliciap bec

That's "Me gustan los libros" in old English.


Yes but when it's that old it's usually referred to as Anglo-Saxon (to suggest that it [in most senses] is a different language). Basically, it isn't until Chaucer (i.e. "Middle English") that anyone but the most expert can see the relationship to "Modern English".

When studying Chaucer, the modern student can get by with footnotes to explain vocabulary and some grammatical structures but, basically one studies what Chaucer wrote. With Beowulf, on the other hand, one first studies Anglo-Saxon (essentially, as a foreign language) before addressing the actual text of the poem.

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

samdie said:

Something along the lines of: 1668 Pepys Diary 22 Nov., My boy's livery is come home..and it likes me well enough. perhaps?

Something like "Me gusta la carne", where the subject is the meat, and the pronoun determines who is pleased by the meat. But I'm not talking about modern English anyway:

Me geliciap bec

That's "Me gustan los libros" in old English.

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

lazarus1907 said:

samdie said:

I'm quite sure that I have occasion to say "It pleaseth me not!" at least once a day.

I was actually referring to the verb "to like" used like "gustar", with "me" and everything.


Something along the lines of:
1668 Pepys Diary 22 Nov., My boy's livery is come home..and it likes me well enough.
perhaps'

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

samdie said:

I'm quite sure that I have occasion to say "It pleaseth me not!" at least once a day.

I was actually referring to the verb "to like" used like "gustar", with "me" and everything.

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

lazarus1907 said:

English used to have the same construction with this verb... but it god rid of it.


I'm quite sure that I have occasion to say "It pleaseth me not!" at least once a day.

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

English used to have the same construction with this verb... but it god rid of it.

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes
updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by motley
0
votes

You use "gustan" when the subject of the (Spanish) sentence is plural and "gusta" when it's singular. Note: with "gustar" the subject of the Spanish sentence usually corresponds to the object in the English translation. e.g. "Megustan las frutas."="I like fruits." or "Me gusta el pescado."="I like fish."

updated SEP 21, 2008
posted by samdie
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