“Gustar” is a funny verb. When we first learn it, we equate “me gusta” with “I like” – “me gusta la pizza” indicates “I choose pizza”. Simple sufficient. However, this verb, and also many type of others prefer it, are profoundly different to our English equivalents. They are known as “reverse construction verbs”.

 




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What are reverse building and construction verbs?

A more advantageous method to method “me gusta” is to think of our English verb “disgust”. The construction of this verb indicates that somepoint disgusts me. With our verb “like”, we choose something, yet through “disgust” this is reversed (for this reason “reverse construction verbs”). The subject (the agent which is “doing” the verb) is reversed:


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“Gustar” functions in a comparable method to “disgust”. In the sentence “Me gustan las naranjas” (“I prefer oranges”), Spanish speakers think of the oranges being the agent, and also resulting in my pleacertain. The oranges are doing the action to me, fairly than my liking the ovarieties. This is the basic principle behind reverse building verbs, and when you can understand this, you’ll have the ability to nail the totality set of them!

Another approach you can take is to analyze “gustar” as “please” (as in, “it pleases me”). Using this translation, then, “me gustan las naranjas” have the right to also be analyzed as “oarrays please me”. Although this sounds like fairly a weird translation (and also it’s absolutely not the “correct” one), it does help us to understand also the building of the verb.

While we might understand also the concept of reverse building and construction verbs, Spanish adds another layer of obstacle in that, once we´ve chose what or who the agent is, we have to conjugate the verb to complement that agent. With “I choose oranges”, the agent in Spanish is “oranges” (remember: oranges please me). That indicates we should conjugate “gustar” for “oranges”, quite than “me”, or “I”. “Naranjas” is plural and third perkid, meaning we use the “-an” ending:

“Me gustan las naranjas”

Try it through these sentences, translating from English to Spanish:

I prefer Spain (or, Spain pleases me)He likes footround (or, footround pleases him)They choose me (or, I please them)I prefer you (or, you please me)

 

Translations at the end of this article!

 


Other reverse construction verbs

While “gustar” is most likely the initially verb you’ll come throughout of this type, tright here is a broad array of other verbs which also follow the exact same framework. We won’t administer a finish list, but right here are some of the many necessary ones that you absolutely need to add to your Spanish toolbox:

Aburrir: To boreBastar: To have enoughCaer bien: To look excellent on/acquire on via (literally “loss well”)Costar: To expense (and also figuratively, to be difficult)Doler: To hurtEncantar: To delightFaltar: To lack/needImportar: To matter/careParecer: To appearQuedar: To remain/have left

 

Reverse building and construction verbs are an extremely “Spanish” thing. While it have the right to take a tiny while to gain your head around them, it’s a sure-fire method to make your Spanish sound that bit bit more aboriginal, and also a little less favor interpreted English.

Translations

I choose Spain (or, Spain pleases me)Me gusta EspañaHe likes footsphere (or, footsphere pleases him)Le gusta el fútbolThey like me (or, I please them)Les gusto yoI like you (or, you please me)Me gustas tú