Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Expressing Likes and Dislikes: gustar

–¿Que les parece este restaurante? ¿Les gusta?
— ¡A mí me gusta mucho!
–Y a mí me gustan los postres que sirven.
–Bueno, ¿quién va a pagar hoy?
–¿Nadie contesta?
–Bueno, nos gusta mucho el restaurante… no nos gustan nada las cuentas,

You have been using the verb gustar to express likes and dislikes. However, gustar does not literally mean to like, but to be pleasing.

Gustar is always used with an indirect object pronoun: someone or something is pleasing to someone else. The verb must agree with its subject, which is the person or thing that is pleasing. Note that an infinitive is viewed as a singular subject in Spanish.

Me gusta este restaurante. – This restaurant is pleasing to me. I like this restaurant.
Me gusta cocinar. – Cooking is pleasing to me. I like to cook.
Me gustan mis compañeros de clase. – My classmates are pleasing to me. I like my classmates.

Note that a phrase with a + a prepositional pronoun can be used for clarification or emphasis

¿A Ud. le gusta viajar? – Do you like to travel?
¿A él le gusta viajar? – Does he like to travel?

A mí me gustan las arvejas, pero a ti no te gustan, ¿verdad? – I like peas but you don’t, right?

The indirect object pronoun must be used with gustar even when an indirect object noun is expressed. A common word order is as follows.

A Juanlegustan las fiestas.
A mis tiaslesgusta cocinar.

Remember that the pronouns and ti (not the subject pronouns yo and ) are used as the objects of prepositions.

Would Like / Wouldn’t Like
What one would or would not like to do is expressed with the form gustaría + [infinitive] and the appropriate indirect objects.

A mí me gustaría viajar al Perú. – I would like to travel to Pem.
Nos gustaría cenar temprano esta noche. – We would like to eat early tonight.

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