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. So, eventually you’ll need to get comfortable with this type of conjugation.
Many students think that the verb 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 them.
Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:
- List of Verbs
- Gusta vs Gustan: Conjugation Rules
- Difference Between Reflexive & Affective Verbs
- Key Points
- Downloadable PDF
18 Common Verbs Like Gustar in Spanish
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, these types of words are essential to communicating accurately and effectively in Spanish. Below is a list of examples of similar verbs to gustar that you must know.
Aburrir – To bore
When expressing that something or someone is boring you, aburrir is conjugated like gustar, but based on the activity or person that bores you.
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 to express possession.
Apretar – To be too tight
When talking about clothes, shoes, or accessories being too tight, apretar must be conjugated with an indirect object pronoun.
¿Les aprieta la corbata?
Is the tie too tight on you?
Me aprietan los zapatos.
The shoes are too tight.
Take Note: Notice that stem-changing rules are still applied to these types of 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
You can use 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 works just like gustar 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.
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, these verbs will not have a literal translation.
Doler – To hurt
Since it always refers to the feelings and sensations that something causes you, doler is always conjugated with an indirect object pronoun. 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 the same as any other verb like gustar.
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 follows this pattern.
Hartar – To annoy
‘Hartar’ helps you talk about behaviors, attitudes or things that annoy you.
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 must be conjugated based on what you care about.
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 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. This is one of the most common verbs like gustar in Spanish.
Nos interesa aprender inglés.
We are interested in learning English.
A tus amigos les interesan los deportes.
Your friends are interested in sports.
Molestar – To bother
Molestar also follows things pattern 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 conjugated like gustar 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 with these structures, 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 Gustar and Similar Spanish Verbs
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.
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 gusta el chocolate’ or ‘el chocolate me gusta’, but the former is more common to use in a sentence.
In most cases, any verb which works like gustar uses the endings of the third person singular and plural (él / ellos). To put it in simple words, they typically use a singular or plural conjugation.
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 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:
[IOP] + [verb in singular] + el/la + [singular noun]
No me gusta despertarme temprano.
I don’t like waking up early.
A Jessica le gusta esa película.
Jessica likes that movie.
[IOP] + [verb in singular] + [infinitive verb]
A Tess le encanta correr.
Tess loves running.
A James le interesa viajar.
James is interested in traveling.
[IOP] + [verb in plural] + los/las + [plural noun]
¿Le duelen los brazos?
Are your arms sore?
A Jessica le gustan los libros y las películas.
Jessica likes books and movies.
A Cole le encantan los perros pequeños.
Cole loves small dogs.
No les gustan sus zapatos.
They don’t like their shoes.
Take Note: If you need to emphasize or clarify who has feelings towards something, you need to use prepositional pronouns in your sentence to introduce that person.
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 Gustar Like Verbs
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
Key Points: The Verb Gustar
Verbs similar to ‘gustar’ are necessary for effective communication. For that reason, in this article, we identified other verbs that follow this conjugation pattern. Here are some key points you should never forget:
- Verbs like gustar describe feelings, likes, dislikes, or interests that something (subject) causes in someone (object).
- Instead of subject pronouns, these words use indirect object pronouns and 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.
- These structures 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.
Download the Cheat Sheet with Gustar & Similar Common Verbs
I’ve created a PDF cheat sheet you can download with everything you need. From the list of verbs like gustar, to the Spanish verb graphics and charts for remembering how to conjugate them.