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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: “Can you find new love by expressing what you like in Spanish?” JP?
JP: ¡Sí!
Fernando: How did you come up with this title?
JP: I don’t come up with the titles my friend. We outsource the titles to a professional title consultant. Now Fernando, what are we talking about today?
Fernando: In this lesson, you will learn about the verb “gustar”. This conversation takes place after class in the hallway. The conversation is between Sergio and Jimena and the speakers will be using the familiar register.
JP: All right, let’s listen to this lesson.
Fernando: Just before, don’t outsource the comments. You guys go ahead and do them yourselves.
Sergio: Hola. ¿También te gusta el chile?
Jimena: Sí, mucho. Es de mis verduras favoritas.
Sergio: Yo soy Sergio. ¿Y tú?
Jimena: Yo, Jimena. Encantada.
Sergio: Hi. You like chili peppers too?
Jimena: Yes, very much. It's one of my favorite vegetables.
Sergio: I'm Sergio. And you?
Jimena: Me, Jimena. Charmed.
JP: Okay, Fernando. So class just got out and it’s that class history of the chili pepper, right? So it’s probably a botany class or an evolutionary biology class. I suppose it could be a culinary class maybe.
Fernando: Right. Anyway Sergio walks up to Jimena and asks her “¿También te gusta el chile?”
JP: Now that’s quite a line. That’s kind of an opening line, don’t you think? “So you like chili peppers too?”, “¿También te gusta el chile?”
Fernando: Well, Sergio is pretty charming. Her answer is “Sí, mucho. Es de mis verduras favoritas”.
JP: “Es de mis verduras favoritas”, “It’s one of my favorite vegetables.” So it looks like Sergio has got his foot in the door with Jimena.
Fernando: Yeah, pretty much. So he takes the opportunity to introduce himself. He says “Yo soy Sergio. ¿Y tú?” and then she responds “Yo, Jimena. Encantada”.
JP: And we know “encantada” means “charmed” or “enchanted”, “encantada”. All right, so it looks like Sergio and Jimena are really hitting it off. It’s going to be an interesting semester in the history of the chili pepper. Why don’t we take a look at some of the vocabulary that’s important to this lesson?
Fernando: “También”.
JP: “Also”, “as well”, “too.”
Fernando: “Tam-bién”, “también”. “Gustar”.
JP: “To give pleasure to” or “to like.”
Fernando: “Gus-tar”, “gustar”. “Mucho”.
JP: “Much”, “a lot.”
Fernando: “Mu-cho”, “mucho”. “La verdura”.
JP: “Vegetable.”
Fernando: “La ver-du-ra”, “la verdura”.
JP: And the last one...
Fernando: “Favorito”.
JP: “Favorite.”
Fernando: “Fa-vo-ri-to”, “favorito”.
JP: All right, now that we heard these words in isolation, let’s take a closer look.
Fernando: Let’s start with “también”.
JP: “También”. It means “also” or “too” or “as well”, right? “También”.
Fernando: So Sergio asked “¿También te gusta el chile?”
JP: “So you like chili peppers also?”, “¿También te gusta el chile?”. Well “I sure do”, “yo sí”.
Fernando: Y yo también, “también”. All right, next word, “gustar”.
JP: “Gustar”. Okay. So the grammar for this word “gustar” is pretty complicated. “Gustar” usually gets translated as “to like” but literally it means “to give pleasure to”, “gustar”. All right, we are going to talk about “gustar” a little bit more in the grammar section. Fernando, let’s move on to the next word.
Fernando: Okay, next word is “mucho”.
JP: “Mucho”. This means “much” or “a lot”, “mucho”.
Fernando: After that we have “la verdura”.
JP: “La verdura”. So “verdura” means vegetable and it’s the kind you eat, “la verdura”.
Fernando: “La verdura”. The last word on our list today is “favorito”.
JP: This is a great word for the beginner level, “favorito”. It means “favorite”, “favorito”.
Fernando: “Favorito”. Shall we move on to the grammar?

Lesson focus

JP: Ah, sí. Mi tema favorito. It’s my favorite topic.
Fernando: Okay. So you said we are going to talk about “gustar” today.
JP: Yes, “gustar” is usually translated as “to like” but grammatically it doesn’t behave anything like the English word “to like.” So this causes a lot of problems for English speakers who are learning Spanish who have “to like” in their heads.
Fernando: It’s really a problem?
JP: Trust me. So anyway, I want you to forget everything you know about “gustar” and listen to me. All right, the verb “gustar” means “to give pleasure to”, “to give pleasure to.” And if anyone else tells you any other translation, you are to ignore them.
Fernando: It’s that bad?
JP: It’s that bad, seriously. “Gustar”, “to give pleasure to.” You see in English, you like something. For example, “I like this microphone” and “I like it”, all right. The subject is “I” and the action is “like” and I am doing the action of liking it to the microphone but when you say it in Spanish...
Fernando: “Me gusta el micrófono”.
JP: All right. What you just said is “me gusta el micrófono”, “the microphone gives pleasure to me.”
Fernando: Right. That means “I like the microphone.”
JP: Yeah. It means the same thing but the grammar is totally different. In English, “I like the microphone.” “I am doing something to the microphone.” In Spanish...
Fernando: “Me gusta el micrófono”.
JP: Okay, “to me it gives pleasure the microphone.” It’s the other way around and the microphone is doing something to me, right? So when you want to express a like or dislike in Spanish, you have to phrase it with the terms “it gives pleasure to me” and that is a different way of thinking. Now I am probably confusing a lot of people right now, right?
Fernando: I think it’s time for another example.
JP: Okay. We will take something plural. How about beans? I like beans.
Fernando: “Beans”, “los frijoles”.
JP: “Los frijoles”. So if I want to say “I like beans” in Spanish, you have to think the beans give pleasure to me. So the subject is going to be the beans.
Fernando: “Los frijoles”.
JP: “Los frijoles”. Now we want to say they give pleasure. So we are going to use “gustar” in the third person plural. How do you say “they give pleasure”?
Fernando: “Gustan”.
JP: “Gustan”, right. “Gustan” with the “n” on the end, “they give pleasure.” Now all we need is to me.
Fernando: You’d say “me gustan”.
JP: “Me gustan”. “They give pleasure to me.” Now we put the beans at the end.
Fernando: “Me gustan los frijoles”.
JP: “Me gustan los frijoles”. So “to me”, “me”, “they give pleasure”, “gustan”, “the beans”, “los frijoles”. “Me gustan los frijoles”.
Fernando: “Me gustan los frijoles”. That’s not so hard.
JP: No, it’s not hard at all but English speakers are not used to thinking that way. So it’s tough sometimes to make it a good habit. “I like beans”. “The beans give pleasure to me”, “me gustan los frijoles”. So our two examples were “me gusta el micrófono” and “me gustan los frijoles”. “El micrófono” is an it, so “it gives pleasure.” “Los frijoles” are they, so “they give pleasure.” That’s the difference between “me gusta” and “me gustan”, right? “Me gusta” is a singular thing like the microphone. “Me gustan” is a plural thing like the beans. “Me gusta”, “me gustan”. Now this is important because you are never going to get it right if all you have in your head is “I like the microphone” and “I like the beans” because in English it’s “I like” and “I like.”
Fernando: But in Spanish, it’s “me gusta” y “me gustan”.
JP: Exactly. Now I know some of our listeners are just as confused as ever. So this is what I want you to come away with. “Gustar” means “to give pleasure to.” Now of course in the lesson notes, we described “gustar” further. So definitely go look at the lesson notes if you need to see the explanation with some more examples.
Fernando: The other thing you could do is if you are still confused, ask us about it in the comments section.
JP: Absolutely. Go to the website which is www.spanishpod101.com, find this lesson and leave us your question in the comments section. We will be happy to address your specific questions there.


Fernando: Okay, I think that’s our queue to wrap it up.
JP: Good idea. Hasta luego!
Fernando: Adiós.


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