18 Must-Know Verbs Like Gustar: Conjugations & Examples

If you’re learning Spanish, soon you’ll notice that gustar follows a particular conjugation pattern. For most students, this conjugation is challenging and confusing. The thing is that there are many verbs like gustar in Spanish. So, eventually you’ll need to get comfortable with this type of conjugation. 

Many students think ‘gustar’ is the only verb with a quirky conjugation and phrase structure. But in reality, there are dozens of basic verbs that follow this pattern. So, in this article, you’ll learn the most common verbs that work and are conjugated like ‘gustar’. You’ll also learn their conjugation rules, and I’ll include examples of how to use these types of verbs.  

The topics we’ll cover in this article are:

18 Common Verbs Like ‘Gustar’

Verbs like ‘gustar’ are called affective verbs in Spanish. This is because they allow you to talk about feelings, interests, likes, and dislikes towards something or someone. 

Since they describe the feelings a person or thing causes in you, affective verbs are essential to communicating accurately and effectively in Spanish. Below is a list of examples of verbs like ‘gustar’ that you must know. 

Note: Pay attention to the example sentences, so you start getting familiar with the usage of these verbs. 

Aburrir – To bore 

When expressing that something or someone is boring you, the verb aburrir follows the pattern of an affective verb. 

Me aburrió la película.
The movie bored me.

A ella le aburren los deportes.
Sports bore her.

Agradar – To like 

‘Agradar’ is a formal synonym of ‘gustar’. As a result, you can use it to talk about things, activities, and people you like or dislike. 

¿Te agrada este restaurante?
Do you like this restaurant?

No nos agradan los vecinos.
We don’t like our neighbors.

Tip: As shown in example #2, native speakers use definite articles in Spanish to express possession. 

Apretar – To be too tight 

When talking about clothes, shoes, or accessories being too tight, the verb apretar works exactly like ‘gustar’.

¿Les aprieta la corbata?
Is the tie too tight on you?

Me aprietan los zapatos.
The shoes are too tight.

Take Note: Notice that Spanish stem-changing rules are still applied to affective verbs. For example, apretar has an E to IE change

Caer bien – To like 

In Mexican Spanish, caer bien expresses if you like or dislike people. This verb has no romantic connotations, it rather refers to someone’s personality. 

No nos cae bien tu novia.
We don’t like your girlfriend. 

 ¿Te cayeron bien las chicas nuevas? 
Did you like the new girls?

Costar – To struggle / To cost

In Spanish, you can use the verb costar to talk about things you find challenging to do and express how much things cost (it doesn’t necessarily refer to a monetary cost). 

Este teléfono me costó mucho dinero.
This phone cost me a lot of money.

A Lucía le cuestan las matemáticas.
Lucia struggles with math. 

Dar miedo – To scare 

Dar miedo is an affective verb in Spanish since it describes things that make you scared or frightened. In this context, you can also use its variation asustar. 

A él le dan miedo las alturas.
He is scared of heights.

De niños nos daba miedo la oscuridad.
When we were kids, we were scared of the darkness.

Tip: There are many verbal phrases with dar that describe the feelings something or someone causes in you, such as ‘dar miedo’, ‘dar pena’, etc. All of those expressions are considered as  verbs like ‘gustar’. 

Divertir – To amuse / To enjoy 

If you’re talking about things or people that amuse you, divertir is conjugated like ‘gustar’.  

A mí me divierte salir con mis amigos.
I enjoy going out with my friends. 

A la bebé le divierten los payasos.
The clown amuses the baby. 

Take Note: Often, affective verbs will not have a literal translation. 

Doler – To hurt

Since it always refers to the feelings and sensations that something causes you, doler always works like the verb ‘gustar’. Notice that, depending on the type of pain, ‘doler’ can have different translations. 

Ayer nos dolió la cabeza todo el día.
Yesterday we had a headache all day.

Me duelen muchísimo las piernas.
My legs hurt a lot.

Encantar – To love 

In Spanish, encantar is used to talk about things or activities that you love. Since it expresses a reaction to certain things, encantar is one of the most common verbs like ‘gustar’

A ellas les encanta bailar.
They love dancing.

Me encantan los postres de chocolate.
I love chocolate desserts.

Faltar – To miss / To go

The verb faltar has multiple uses in Spanish. Depending on those applications, it may follow a different conjugation pattern. However, if ‘faltar’ is referring to things you’re missing, it should be conjugated as an affective verb.

Te falta un dólar.
You’re missing one dollar.

Todavía les faltan diez minutos.
You still have ten minutes to go.

Hacer falta is a variation that also behaves like ‘gustar’.

Hartar – To annoy

The verb ‘hartar’ helps you talk about behaviors, attitudes or things that annoy you. In this specific context, you must conjugate it like ‘gustar’. 

A mi mamá le hartan mis bromas.
My jokes annoy my mom.

Paulina nos hartó ayer.
Paulina annoyed us yesterday.

Importar – To care about

Whenever you want to refer to things or activities you care about, importar works as an affective verb. 

A mí me importa mucho mi familia.
I care about my family a lot.

A ustedes les importan mucho sus perros.
You guys care about your dogs a lot.

Impresionar – To impress

Since it always refers to things that caused an impression on you or someone, impresionar follows gustar’s grammatical and conjugation patterns.

Me impresionan tus resultados.
I am impressed by your results.

Nos impresionó lo que hiciste por tu hermana.
We were impressed by what you did for your sister.

Interesar – To interest 

To talk about the things that interest you, you must use the verb interesar, which is one of the most common affective verbs in Spanish. 

Nos interesa aprender español.
We are interested in learning Spanish.

A tus amigos les interesan los deportes.
Your friends are interested in sports.

Molestar – To bother

Molestar is a verb like ‘gustar’ as long as you use it to explain the situations, things, or people that bother you

¿Le molesta el ruido?
Is the noise bothering you?

A ti te molestan los niños.
Kids bother you.

Ofender – To offend

Ofender is a Spanish affective verb when used to express the attitudes, behaviors, or other things that offend you.

Su comportamiento nos ofende.
Your behavior offends us.

Me ofenden tus comentarios.
Your comments offend me.

Preocupar – To worry 

The verb preocupar always refers to things that worry you or others. Anytime that ‘preocupar’ is not followed by a preposition, you’ll have to conjugate it like ‘gustar’. 

A Clive le preocupa el dinero.
Clive is worried about the money.

¿Te preocupan las calificaciones?
Are you worried about your grades?

Quedar – To fit / To suit / To be left

When used as an affective verb, quedar refers to:

  • Clothes, shoes, or accessories that fit or suit you.
  • Remaining things or objects.

Esa camisa te queda bien.
That t-shirt suits you well.

No me quedan los zapatos.
The shoes don’t fit.

Sólo me quedan diez pesos.
I have ten pesos left.

Take Note: Do not confuse quedar with quedarse. ‘Quedarse’ is not only a reflexive verb but also means that something or someone stayed somewhere. 

How to Conjugate Verbs Like Gustar

Now that you know when to use verbs like ‘gustar’, you must learn how to conjugate them. Most verbs in Spanish refer to an action and they’re conjugated based on the subject who performed such action. 

On the other hand, affective verbs refer to the feelings that a subject provokes. So, these verbs are conjugated based on the thing, situation, or activity that motivated such reactions. 

graphic showing how verbs like gustar are conjugated

Take Note: Like in English, Spanish standard verbs use the pattern Subject + Verb + Object. On the other hand, verbs like ‘gustar’ follow the inverse pattern Object + Verb + Subject most of the time. Since conversational Spanish is flexible you can say ‘me gustan los perros’ or ‘los perros me gustan’, but the former is more common.

In Spanish, verbs like ‘gustar’ use the endings of the third person singular and plural (él / ellos). To put it in simple words, verbs like ‘gustar’ only have two possible conjugations: singular and plural.

Choosing between these two conjugations depends on whether the subject (the thing is causing a feeling in you) is singular, plural or an activity described with an infinitive verb.

The subject of these sentences (what provokes a feeling in you) is always preceded by a Spanish definite article. Finally, the pronouns you use with verbs like ‘gustar’ are indirect object pronouns. These pronouns express who is experiencing the feeling or expressing the interest, like, or dislike.

So, to create sentences with verbs like ‘gustar’ you use the following formulas:

graphic with formulas to conjugate verbs like gustar

[IOP] + [affective verb in singular] + el/la + [singular noun]

No me queda la camisa.
The t-shirt doesn’t fit.

[IOP] + [affective verb in singular] + [infinitive verb]

A Tess le encanta correr.
Tess loves running.

[IOP] + [affective verb in plural] + los/las + [plural noun]

¿Te duelen los brazos?
Are your arms sore?

Take Note: If you need to emphasize or clarify who has feelings towards something, you need to use prepositional pronouns to introduce that person. 

graphic with indirect and prepositional pronouns in spanish

Conjugation chart

To conjugate verbs like ‘gustar’, you must use the endings of the third person singular and plural (él/ellos). Additionally, you must use the appropriate indirect object pronoun. 

Below is a conjugation chart for verbs like ‘gustar’ in different tenses:

-AR Verbs – Example: Molestar


-ER Verbs – Example: Doler


-IR Verbs – Example: Aburrir


Take Note: Divertir, ofender, doler, costar, apretar and divertir are stem-changing verbs in Spanish. In other words, there are some spelling changes that you need to keep in mind when conjugating these verbs. 

Reflexive Verbs vs Verbs Like Gustar

Since some of the affective verbs also have a pronominal form, they’re often confused with reflexive verbs. As mentioned before, verbs like ‘gustar’ refer to interests, likes, dislikes, or feelings that something causes in a person. 

On the other hand, pronominal verbs use reflexive pronouns, which can change their meaning:

  • Quedarse – To stay 
  • Divertirse – To have fun
  • Molestarse – To get upset
  • Preocuparse – To worry about something
  • Interesarse – To take an interest in something
graphic showing the difference between reflexive verbs and verbs like gustar

Key Points

Verbs like ‘gustar’ are necessary to communicate properly in Spanish. For that reason, in this article, you learned different verbs that follow the same pattern as ‘gustar’. Here are some key points you should never forget:

  • Verbs like ‘gustar’ are called affective verbs because they describe feelings, likes, dislikes, or interests that something (subject) causes in someone (object). 
  • Instead of subject pronouns, verbs like ‘gustar’ use indirect object pronouns.
  • These verbs are conjugated based on what provokes a feeling or reaction. 
  • In Spanish, verbs like ‘gustar’ use the conjugating endings of the third person singular and plural. In other words, they have a singular or plural conjugation. 
  • Verbs like ‘gustar’ do not exist in English. As a result, they do not always have literal, direct translations.
  • Verbs like ‘gustar’ may have a pronominal form. However, these pronominal forms may have different meanings.

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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