´Gustar´ And ´Like´

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I didn´t know where exaclty to post this because it´s not a question, but it is grammar, so pardon if this is in the incorrect area.

I have noticed a lot in my experience of both attending spanish classes in the United States and living in Spain the problems people have with Gustar and Like, with native spanish and native english speakers alike. Most people are taught that Gustar and Encantar directly translate into english as Like/Love because this is the simple definition that people and teachers give them. And even in this dictionary Encantar and Gustar are defined as such. This direct translation causes a lot of problems and errors.

´Gustar´ does not mean ´to like.´
´Encantar´ does not mean ´to love´

Because in Spanish it is the object or action that is performing ´gustar´ and not the person like in english, I translate ´gustar´ as ´to please.´

For example, Me gusta el juego. - ¨The game pleases me¨. Where ¨The game pleases me¨ as opposed to english where ¨I like the game¨

It is the same for encantar, except the meaning of it is a little different. While in english we have like and love where love is a more intense feeling than like, spanish has the same but a little different because again, encantar is used in the same way as gustar. For example:

Me encantan los perros. - ¨Dogs enchant me¨ as opposed to the english, ¨I love dogs¨

An example of an error that these incorrect translation causes is the following:

Some spanish speakers tend to say ¨He likes me¨ instead of ¨I like him.¨ Quite an opposite meaning. Because like I displayed above, they translate Gustar into like when it´s really more closely translated as ´to please.´

So basically what I´m trying to say is that gustar does not mean like and should never be translated as like when people are serious about learning spanish or english. I have taught my spanish speaking friends to use the verb ´like´ like they use the verb ´querer´ or ´amar´ Thought the meaning of like is closer to the meaning of gustar, it is applied in a very different way.

An example of an english error would be: Te gusto mucho. While they are trying to say ¨I like you a lot,¨ they are really saying ¨I please you a lot.¨ Which is quite an opposite meaning.

I hope someone finds this post useful and anyone can feel free to correct any errors or add on to this.

4024 views
updated MAY 15, 2009
posted by Leviathan

3 Answers

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votes

I hope someone finds this post useful ......

Good job Leviathan; yes -- it is useful and well written. Thank you.

updated MAY 14, 2009
posted by Daniel
0
votes

I didn´t know where exaclty to post this because it´s not a question, but it is grammar, so pardon if this is in the incorrect area.

I have noticed a lot in my experience of both attending spanish classes in the United States and living in Spain the problems people have with Gustar and Like, with native spanish and native english speakers alike. Most people are taught that Gustar and Encantar directly translate into english as Like/Love because this is the simple definition that people and teachers give them. And even in this dictionary Encantar and Gustar are defined as such. This direct translation causes a lot of problems and errors.

´Gustar´ does not mean ´to like.´

´Encantar´ does not mean ´to love´

Because in Spanish it is the object or action that is performing ´gustar´ and not the person like in english, I translate ´gustar´ as ´to please.´

For example, Me gusta el juego. - ¨The game pleases me¨. Where ¨The game pleases me¨ as opposed to english where ¨I like the game¨

It is the same for encantar, except the meaning of it is a little different. While in english we have like and love where love is a more intense feeling than like, spanish has the same but a little different because again, encantar is used in the same way as gustar. For example:

Me encantan los perros. - ¨Dogs enchant me¨ as opposed to the english, ¨I love dogs¨

An example of an error that these incorrect translation causes is the following:

Some spanish speakers tend to say ¨He likes me¨ instead of ¨I like him.¨ Quite an opposite meaning. Because like I displayed above, they translate Gustar into like when it´s really more closely translated as ´to please.´

So basically what I´m trying to say is that gustar does not mean like and should never be translated as like when people are serious about learning spanish or english. I have taught my spanish speaking friends to use the verb ´like´ like they use the verb ´querer.´ Thought the meaning of like is closer to the meaning of gustar, it is applied in a very different way.

An example of an english error would be: Te gusto mucho. While they are trying to say ¨I like you a lot,¨ they are really saying ¨I please you a lot.¨ Which is quite an opposite meaning.

I hope someone finds this post useful and anyone can feel free to correct any errors or add on to this.

You are definitely right. It's not easy for English or Spanish speaking learners to understand it at the beginning. However, they would get used to it after a while.

Thanks for your post.

Marco

updated MAY 14, 2009
posted by Marco-T
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votes

You are right about "gustar" behaving more like "to please" rather "to like" for learners, but for a real translation, "to like" is a more natural way to express simple things, but of course, it requires a complete re-write of the sentence.

updated MAY 14, 2009
posted by lazarus1907