If you're a beginner, chances are most of the Spanish sentences you've been using as examples are ones that follow roughly the same word order as we use in English, with the verb following the subject. But Spanish also frequently places the subject after the verb, and that is usually true with gustar. Here are some examples of gustar in action:
- Me gusta el coche. I like the car.
- Nos gustan los coches. We like the cars.
- Le gustan los coches. He/she likes the cars.
As shown in this lesson, the indirect-object pronouns are me, te, le, nos, os and les.
If this seems confusing, here's an approach that might help: Instead of thinking of gustar as meaning "to like," it is both more accurate and makes more sense in this sentence structure to think of it as meaning "to be pleasing." When we say, "I like the car," the meaning is much the same as saying, "the car is pleasing to me." In plural form, it becomes "the cars are pleasing to me," with a plural verb. Note, then, the differences in the common and literal translations below (the common translation is listed first, followed by the literal translation):
- Me gusta el coche. I like the car. The car is pleasing to me.
- Nos gustan los coches. We like the cars. The cars are pleasing to us.
- Le gustan las camionetas. He/she likes the pickups. The pickups are pleasing to him/her.
- A Carlos le gusta el coche. Carlos likes the car.
- A María le gustan las camionetas. María likes the pickups.
- ¿A ustedes les gusta el coche? Do you (plural) like the car?
- Me encantan las fresas. I love strawberries. The strawberries enchant me.
- Le faltan dos dólares. He is two dollars short. Two dollars are lacking to him.
- Me duele la cabeza. My head aches. The head is causing me pain.
- A ella le interesan los deportes. She is interested in sports. Sports interest her.