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pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 6:32:44 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Fecha: 14 de Mayo
Palabra del dia: GUSTAR




The verb is often translated as "to like" because that is the English way to say the same concept. The literal translation is to be pleasing to indirect pronoun".

The English uses the subject (I, you he, we, they) -- verb ("to like" in it's proper conjugation) -- direct object (thing discussing)
I like coffee. == Spanish: The coffee is pleasing to me
Mary likes candy == Spanish: Candy is pleasing to Mary
Mary and Frank like sports == Spanish: Sports are pleasing to Mary and Frank

So Spanish is changing the sentence form to "indirect object" (to me, to us, to Mary, ...) --verb("is pleasing to" ) -- subject(coffee, candy, sports)
The verb is not being conjugated but only used in singular (gusta) and in plural (gustan). Who is being pleased is shown by the indirect object
(1) Me gusta la café
(2) A María le gustan los dulces
(3) A María y Paco les gustan los depórtes

(1) gusta is singular becase the subject of the sentence, "coffee" is singular. The "indirect object" , me, is also singular
(2) gustan is plural because the subject of the sentence, "the candies" is plural. The "indirect object", María, is singular so we use "le" which is singular
(3) gustan is plural because the subject of the sentence, "sports" is plural. The "indirect object", María y Paco, is plural so we use "les" which is plural

The verb is highly irregular in that it has no first or second person, only third person.

EDIT: As Nareed said if you want to use please in the "active voice" you would use "agradar" which conjugates in the normal manner.

I believe that gustar is the only verb in Spanish that only exists in the third person. It only is in the third person because the subject of the sentence is always physical objects. Gustar cannot be used in the active voice, but only the passive voice.
Wizard
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Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 7:49:41 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I believe that gustar is the only verb in Spanish that only exists in the third person. It only is in the third person because the subject of the sentence is always physical objects. Gustar cannot be used in the active voice, but only the passive voice.



Thanks, as always, for your comments. I knew that about gustan, but forgot to write it. Shame on me, that should cost me 10 push-ups at least.

With regard to your comment, how about these verbs: molestar, importar, fascinar, encantar, interesar.
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 7:57:07 AM permalink
The previous post where Mike talks about saying Yo gusto café to mean "I like coffee" is one of your most common mistakes. In general it is a class of mistakes where you learn the archetype and when you hit a wierd exception you try to force it into the archetype. As I said earlier "gustar" is a one of a kind verb (or nearly one of a kind) verb that only exists in the 3rd person.

In English the nearly "one of a kind" verb is "to go". Small children will sometimes say "I go" in the present tense, and "I went" in the past tense. But briefly when they become acquainted with standard conjugation of verbs they will say "I goed" for the past tense. They quickly move out of this stage and go back to "I went".

The reason that "go" is nonstandard in English is that it is really the synthesis of two verbs from older versions of Anglo-Saxon. In present it is "I go, you go, he/she goes, we go, they go". In the past it is "I went, you went, he/she went, we went, they went". The verb "went" is the past tense of a verb whose infinitive is "to wend". The present tense of "wend" is largely archaic, but sometimes it is used for effect as in "I wend my way through the forest". The meaning is still understood, but it becomes poetic.

The same verb, "ir" which means "to go" in Spanish is also irregular in that it is a synthesis of more than one Latin verb. In present it is "voy, vas, va vamos, van". In the two past tenses it is "iba, ibas, iba, ibamos, iban" for the imperfect past, and "fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fueron" for the preterite past tense.
Note that "fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fueron" is also the preterite past tense for ser, or "to be: essentially". If you went somewhere in the past and the action was completed, then it is the same concept of "being in the past", and you use the same verb.

Watch a Family guy spoof on common mistake. This mistake is caused by mistranslating "Me llamo Brian" to "My name is Brian". In reality it is literally translated "I am called Brian". The English speaker has a tendency to want to say "Me llamo es Brian".
pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 11:51:01 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Thanks, as always, for your comments. I knew that about gustan, but forgot to write it. Shame on me, that should cost me 10 push-ups at least.

With regard to your comment, how about these verbs: molestar, importar, fascinar, encantar, interesar.



These verbs would be used very often in the passive voice, just like gustar, but unlike gustar they do have meaning in the active voice as well.

To me, gambling is enchanting/fascinating/bothersome/interesting/important/pleasing .

encantar
fascinar
molestar
interesar
importar

Importar in particular is almost always used in the 3rd person exactly like gustar. Coffee is important to me.

Quote: Christopher Kendris; Spanish verb expert


Importar can be conjugated regularly in all the persons
but it is used most commonly as an impersonal verb in the third person.
Gustar is commonly used in the third person singular or plural.


Note: I was taught that gustar is only used in the third person singular or plural since there is a better word for transitive use of the verb.
Es de mi agrado- It's to my liking.
Paco es un muchacho agradador - Paco is eager to please.
Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 1:15:48 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

These verbs would be used very often in the passive voice, just like gustar, but unlike gustar they do have meaning in the active voice as well.



Thank you. So are you saying that gustar may never be used in the active voice? For example, if I wanted to say I please the queen, could I say "Gusto la reina."?
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 2:51:25 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Thank you. So are you saying that gustar may never be used in the active voice? For example, if I wanted to say I please the queen, could I say "Gusto la reina."?



No, the verb gustar is never used as a transitive verb.

A transitive verb is always incomplete in a sentence without a direct object. "Querer is transitive". The phrase "Yo quiero .." is not a complete sentence unless you add a direct object "Yo quiero tacos."

An intransitive verb never takes a direct object, but can only be used with an indirect object. "Me gusta papa fritas", the subject is potato chips, the indirect object is me . To me, potato chips are pleasing" or "Potato chips are pleasing to me".

Many verbs can be used be used transitively or intransitively, but it is often for common speech to make a preference.
"Agradar" is a verb that can be used transitively or intransitively, but it is most often used intransitively. It means "to please"
So "Yo agrado la reina" (I please the queen) is technically correct, but it is somewhat strange.

La reina se complace conmigo -The queen is pleased with me (where complacer also means "to please") sounds better.
La reina se complace conmi trabajar
But complacer can have a sexual meaning. If you want to be clear that is not the case you could say"

La reina se complace con mi trabajar-"The queen is pleased with my work".
Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 3:18:18 PM permalink
Could I say "Yo la reina gusto"?

By the way, I had in my mind the sexual connotation. Like Monica might have said "I please the president."
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 7:05:45 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Could I say "Yo la reina gusto"?

By the way, I had in my mind the sexual connotation. Like Monica might have said "I please the president."



gustar as a verb cannot be conjugated outside of 3rd person. It is only gusta and gustan (single/plural)
In the imperfect it is (gustaba, gustaban)
In the imperative it is: [ que guste! You like! ] and [que gusten! What fun! ]
And you can go 3rd person in all the other tenses and moods as well.

So you cannot make conjugate it into a first person; you must use a different verb.
I am not sure which verb best conveys sexual satisfaction. I think it might be satisfecho.

However

gusto is also a fairly common masculine noun
mucho gusto -> pleased to meet you (very very common phrase)
el gusto es mío -> the pleasure's mine (very very common phrase)
con mucho gusto -> gladly, with pleasure (very common phrase)
da gusto estar aquí -> it's a real pleasure to be here
estar a gusto -> to feel comfortable
tomar gusto a algo -> to take a liking to something
iría con mucho gusto, pero no puedo -> I'd really love to go but I can't
una casa decorada con buen gusto -> a house decorated in good taste
una casa decorada con mal gusto -> a house decorated in bad taste
sobre gustos no hay nada escrito (Proverb) -> there's no accounting for taste
Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 8:30:56 PM permalink
Thanks for the examples of gusto as a noun.

Quote: pacomartin

gustar as a verb cannot be conjugated outside of 3rd person. It is only gusta and gustan (single/plural)



Okay, then why does spanishdict.com conjugate gustar as follows:

Pronoun Presente Pretérito Futuro Subjuntivo
Yo gusto gusté gustaré guste
gustas gustaste gustarás gustes
Ella/Él/Usted gusta gustó gustará guste
Nosotros gustamos gustamos gustaremos gustemos
Vosotros gustáis gustasteis gustaréis gustéis
Ellos/Ustedes gustan gustaron gustarán gusten


In the page on gustar questions a reader challenges this conjugation, to which they reply, "The congugation of gustar, in first person singular, "gusto" means "I please" and is the correct congugation. The problem here is that you would never just say "Yo gusto" because the phrase always requires an indirect object stating who was pleased. So the correct construction would be "Yo les gusto" (I please them) or in English - They like me. Or "Yo le gusto" (I please him/her). etc."

Do you claim they are in error? Otherwise, if Yo le gusto is allowed, why not Yo la reina gusto? Nareed, your opinion is welcome too, of course.
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Nareed
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May 14th, 2011 at 8:57:37 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Otherwise, if Yo le gusto is allowed, why not Yo la reina gusto? Nareed, your opinion is welcome too, of course.



Because the second example literally means "Me the queen like." You can't shorten it that way. the correct sentence is "yo le gusto a la reina."
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