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We have been taught that gustar is an unusual verb and that you only ever use gusta or gustan depending on whether you like singular or plural things. Would you use "me gustas" to say "I like you"?

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Note that in at least some dialects of Spanish as it is spoken (as opposed to Spanish as the academies say it should be spoken) gustar is used as like - e.g. ¿Gustas el café?. –  Peter Taylor Jan 6 '12 at 12:38
It's always right when you like someone but not something (i.e. "I like it" it's not "Me gustas" but "Me gusta") –  César Jan 7 '12 at 15:42
@PeterTaylor: Which dialects? Would they be ones very close to Portugese regions? I ask because Portuguese gostar works like English like and not like Spanish gustar even though they are clearly close cognates. –  hippietrail Jan 8 '12 at 9:51
@César: Actually you could use me gustas with anything you address. So yes usually a person but also could involve personification of say a pet or robot but perhaps even inanimate objects on objects on occasion, in which case it would be just as quirky as in English telling your car or computer that you like it. –  hippietrail Jan 8 '12 at 9:55
@David: Look no further than the famous Manu Chao song, Me Gustas Tú! –  hippietrail Jan 8 '12 at 10:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Yes, me gustas is correct way to say this.

Gustar is "unusual" in the way that it doesn't mean "to like", but rather "to be liked by".

It's absolutely not true that you only ever use gusta or gustan.

Consider few examples for each grammatical person:

Ya no te gusto — You don't like me anymore

Me gustas — I like you

Me gusta España — I like Spain

Sé que os gustamos — I know that you like us

No me gustáis — I don't like you (plural)

No me gustan los toros — I don't like bullfighting

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I should probably have said "normally only use". Thanks for your quick response. –  David Pashley Jan 6 '12 at 11:28
Even in normal common usage it's not limited to these two cases. –  vartec Jan 6 '12 at 11:29
I would say gustar is only unusual when compared to English to like. Taken on its own it's perfectly usual. After all English to please works the same way and we wouldn't say it is unusual. –  hippietrail Jan 8 '12 at 9:57

As @vartec said, me gustas is correct. A great way to think about gustar in English is to imagine a word gust that means the opposite of disgust. Just like you would say that person disgusts me, with this imaginary word gust, you would say that person gusts me, meaning he or she pleases you, the opposite of disgust.

Or, for the case is question, you gust me, which would then translate back to me gustas.

Read more here.

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+1 interesting indeed! –  Joze Feb 10 '12 at 11:55
You beat me to it. etymonline.com/… –  Cayetano Gonçalves Feb 13 '12 at 4:54

A remark besides the grammar. I'm not very sure what you mean exactly with I like you in english (from a person to another). But in spanish, if you say me gustas is in a more-than-friends sense. In a just-as-friends context, it's better to use me caes bien or me agradas. I think me gustas is more like I have a little crush on you. Be careful with that.

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Totally agree +1. –  Alfredo Osorio Feb 10 '12 at 14:30
Great point! +1 –  Jacobo de Vera Feb 10 '12 at 16:21

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