HomeQ&A"gustar" and similar

"gustar" and similar

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¡Hola! I have recently moved to Spain and have been learning Spanish since I arrived 8 months ago.

I have many questions! but one at a time smile

The verb "gustar" confused me for some time. I was trying to understand why one would say "te quiero" and "te llamo", but say "me gustas". The phrases with "gustar" seemed upside down.

But then, I read that "gustar" should be read as "to please" and so therefore "me gustas" means "you please me".

So, two questions follow:

  1. is my understanding correct and helpful?
  2. what other verbs follow this unusual form'
9051 views
updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by Steve-Walls

21 Answers

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updated May 1, 2009
posted by 00b83c38
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updated May 1, 2009
posted by 00b83c38
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updated May 1, 2009
posted by 00b83c38
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updated May 1, 2009
posted by 00b83c38
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ok . . . seriously . . . start a new thread! "chinese and what they are about" or something like that . . . waaaayyyyy off topic now! get a room you two!

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by Steve-Walls
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HI Steve, if this thing has just started:

**me gustas mucho

me encantas**

Te quiero is a more serious matter.

Gracias cariño! which is another thing! cariño, me amor and others . . I here it used by all sorts of people (ok mainly girls). When is it appropriate? also, guapa and chica . . . are they derogatory or friendly. Again, what would be good to use with a girl I just started dating'

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by Steve-Walls
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HI Steve, if this thing has just started:

me gustas mucho
me encantas

Te quiero is a more serious matter.

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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Would you please think about carefully before submit any posts? It's a learning forum.
Yes . . . I agree! not sure how this topic digressed into Chinese culture and comments as to its degree of repressiveness.

Lets stick to the topic at hand . . . so GUSTAR is far from alone then? there are hundreds more verbs that behave in a similar way?

And BTW, the poll seems to be even split. What do you say to a girl you only just started dating? "te quiero" or "me gustas" ? lol or is it best to say nothing at all? hahaha

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by Steve-Walls
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The point that I wanted to make was there is nothing "unusual" about this construction (and, even more certainly, the term "backward" is not appropriate because there is no "right" or "natural" expression). The basic situation is that some cause (A) produces an emotional response in someone (B). This can with equal validity be expressed by saying that B experiences the emotion caused by A. In the particular case of like/gustar: with "like" B is the subject of the verb (unless it's expressed using the passive voice) while with "gustar" A is the subject. However, in English and Spanish it is often the case that the subject/object relationship can be reversed (this may require the use of a different verb to reflect the change in the point of view).

Thanks for your help Samdie. The reason I termed it "unusual" was that compared to the verbs I know so far, it is unusual. I didn't realise there were so many. As for "backwards", I didn't mean it as being "stupid", I meant that it seemed to work in reverse to phrases like "te quiero", "te llamo".

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by Steve-Walls
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In China don't even say "I love you" at the Altar getting married. People will think you are crazy and will look at you funny.

OK, now I am curious, why? Is it a culture thing?

Yes'It is their idiosyncrasy. Most Chinese think of such expressions ( I love you ) as an exaggeration of their feelings. If you find a GOOD husband or wife, it means that she is a good housekeeper and he is a good provider. The men are expected to provide for everything in the house and the women to be faithful and compliant ( not submissive like some people may think )to their husbands. Nowadays things are changing in the East with the advent of Western culture in their countries. One thing Chinese people like is money, and good living'much like everybody else.

I feel very interesting after I read these posts.
First of all, Robert, how do you know or why did you say that people don't say "I love you" at the altar getting married? It sounds like it's a big shock to you guys. But I just don't understand why? Everything is changing in the East and people say "I love you" in the altar getting married, even in social life.
I watched many movies and there were a lot of parts of wedding, but I don't think people say "I love you" in the altar either. After the Father asked several questions, they just need to say "I do" and change the rings. I think it's done. (Of course, I am not married yet so don't know much about that.)
I don't think people would think you are crazy and funny if you say "I love you" in China. I don't know when you got this information. That must be very long time ago.

Second, Tanya. I am answering your question.
Asian people are kinda shy, of course it compares with Western people. People weren't used to saying "I love you" before. After everything has been changed, people have got used to saying that.

Then, "I love you as an exaggeration of their feelings", do you think if this expression is correct? If you think it is, I could say that you don't know what exactly the love is. Saying "I love you" doesn't mean anything. You need do take your responsibilities. Love is a feeling. When two people are together, they can feel the love without saying "I love you". I know your Western people always say it, but does that really mean what it is when you say it? That's why I was saying love is a feeling and people can feel it without saying anything.

I also don't know where you found your explanation, Robert in last paragraph. It even sounds interesting to me. My feeling was that you were saying a very old story when I read your post. Did this not happen to Western world long time ago?

"One thing Chinese people like is money" really made me angry! I think you need to apologize for it!

Why did you emphasize that Chinese people like money? Do other people not like money'? Everybody likes money, but why did you point out only Chinese people'?

Would you please think about carefully before submit any posts? It's a learning forum.

Thank you,

Marco

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by Marco-T
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The point that I wanted to make was there is nothing "unusual" about this construction (and, even more certainly, the term "backward" is not appropriate because there is no "right" or "natural" expression). The basic situation is that some cause (A) produces an emotional response in someone (B). This can with equal validity be expressed by saying that B experiences the emotion caused by A. In the particular case of like/gustar: with "like" B is the subject of the verb (unless it's expressed using the passive voice) while with "gustar" A is the subject. However, in English and Spanish it is often the case that the subject/object relationship can be reversed (this may require the use of a different verb to reflect the change in the point of view).

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by samdie
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any more verbs that follow GUSTAR pattern'?

Probably over 500, if you consider the fact that these structures are less common in English, and samdie had no problem finding 18 English verbs that can be construted like that.

How many do you need'

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Thanks to everyone who has posted!

I am loving this website more and more each day!

Its kinda weird how people touched on the LOVE thing! have people read my other post on the CULTURE forum? I have just started seeing someone and I am still confused about how to express my feelings in the right way and at the right time without looking like either A. an idiot or B. too keen! I was seeing someone a few months ago and it was a nightmare! Hoping to get it right this time!

I will definitley be checking out the GUSTAR and LOVE flashcards. I've not used the actual lessons on here until now. But I am getting my teeth into them. I have relied mostly on my social life. I made the decision when I got here, to only socialise (more or less) with Spanish people. It has helped me learn so much quicker. People really respond to you when you make the effort. There are a few people that have no patience at all (a lation thing perhaps'), but thankfully not too many! My last girlfriend here was very, very impatient. But the girl I am seeing now is very patient with me.

Have a good weekend everyone! any more verbs that follow GUSTAR pattern''

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by Steve-Walls
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Hi Steve, I created two sets of flashcards on the verb gustar and love (Spanish from Spain)

Gustar

Are you in love'

Just below each flashcard set you can find the words and senteces used and can see if you will find them useful.

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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On a side note, be careful with the "te amo" because "amar" is not like "love" in English - it is much stronger. In English you can say "I love ice cream", in Spanish "yo amo helados" would sound ridiculous.

Really? It doesn't sound ridiculous to me (except that you shouldn't use the subject pronoun and you need to use the definite article: amo los helados, amo el helado), and I hear amar used this way quite often on the radio. Granted, it is much more common to hear "Me encanta el helado," but I think amar is used for emphasis, and the translation might be closer to "I just adore ice cream."

However, your point is valid that learners should not just say amar every time they would say love in English.

updated Apr 30, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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