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My Spanish teacher from last year told me that "me gusta" and "a mí me gusta" mean the same thing: I like. However, "me gusta" is a more simple way to say it. As an example, she told us that "I'm" is the same thing as saying "I am," but it's more simple. Therefore, it's the same with "me gusta" and "a mí me gusta."

However, this year, my new Spanish teacher tends to use "a mí me gusta" a lot, and I believe she thinks that "me gusta" is wrong, or at least "a mí me gusta" is a better way to say "I like."

Who's correct? Are they really the same thing?

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  • 1
    It's a matter of emphasis. The extra "a mí" shifts the emphasis onto who likes it, implying but not stating that others might not like it. Nov 11, 2015 at 10:27
  • There is absolutely no difference between those two. I have been to Argentina and Mexico and in both places they told me that this is just a redundancy. It is more less like using double negation, you as native English speaker (so I assume) might be wondering why this is necessary at all.
    – Jagger
    Nov 11, 2015 at 17:21

7 Answers 7

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They really are the same thing but, a mí me gusta is really an emphasis that you really like something. A mí me gusta is also a great way to answer a question. For example, "¿a quién le gusta...?" You would answer using, "a mí me gusta..."

In some cultures you can even use the a mí when you are speaking with someone you would refer to as usted. Basically it is a really good way to emphasize your liking.

Some tips:

  • Make sure to always use the me when you are talking about yourself liking something.
  • Know who or what you like. This can change whether the sentence is a mí me gusta, gustan, or gustas. Know your conjugations
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A mí me gustaría pensar que son lo mismo. Sin embargo, esto incide en una cosa que me gusta mucho del castellano: que tiene muchos matices.

Bromas aparte, sí tiene diferencia, aunque no mucha. Como toda frase, el orden y el uso de pronombres matiza su sonido y sentido. Si decimos "a mí" es como cuando en inglés se empieza con un "to me": connota que es algo muy personal, poniendo el acento en ese hecho en posible contraposición a la opinión de el resto de la gente. Cuando no se usa "me gusta" a secas puede tener una connotación menos polémica, como una expresión de preferencias.

He aquí un par de ejemplos:

¿No te gusta mi amiga? Pues a mí me gusta y mucho

Me gusta levantarme tarde los fines de semana

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    Estoy de acuerdo. El a mí pone el énfasis en que hablas de tus gustos personales, pero entendiendo que los de otras personas pueden ser diferentes. Mismo significado, pero diferente énfasis.
    – Gorpik
    Oct 27, 2015 at 8:28
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    Gracias por la edición, @Gorpik Pensaba que "a parte" era correcto, pero tu edición me ha hecho investigar y ver que no, para nada. aparte no es lo mismo que a parte: Cuestión diferente es la secuencia a parte, combinación presente en frases como «Esas leyes dejan indefensos a parte de los ciudadanos» (equivalente a «… a una parte de los ciudadanos»)
    – fedorqui
    Oct 27, 2015 at 10:11
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    Por si no lo habías oído nunca: aparte se escribe todo junto, y todo junto se escribe aparte :)
    – Gorpik
    Oct 27, 2015 at 10:41
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    @Gorpik he creado una pregunta al respecto: ¿Cuándo se usa “aparte” y cuándo “a parte”?, para que sirva de referencia en el futuro y no quede olvidado en los comentarios : )
    – fedorqui
    Oct 27, 2015 at 14:59
  • Sorry, I couldn't quite understand this question for it was written in Spanish. If you could translate it in English, that would be fantastic. Besides from that, thank you so much for answering this question. Oct 27, 2015 at 20:29
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You're right, the two phrases mean exactly the same thing. You can use either, but I think it's more common to hear it like your teacher speaks it. Let me explain what that extra part does.

The verb gustar literally means to please.

Me gusta la comida. --> The food pleases me. (I like the food.)

When you add the extra a mí, it clarifies whom is being pleased

A mí me gusta le comida. --> The food pleases me. (I like the food.)

The two sentences mean exactly the same thing, but with the extra part a mí, you are clarifying whom is being pleased. You may ask why that is necessary, because the pronoun me already specifies the subject as me. Well consider this sentence:

Le gusta la comida. --> The food pleases him/her/it. (He/she/it likes the food.)

Who exactly likes the food? To avoid confusion the extra part is added and you can see it clarifies who exactly is the subject:

A ella le gusta la comida. --> The food pleases her. (She likes the food.)

A Samuel le gusta la comida. --> The food pleases her. (Samuel likes the food.)

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  • A ella no le gusta trabajar, lo que le gusta es bailar.
    – Jagger
    Nov 11, 2015 at 17:22
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    I think that sometimes "a mí" and "me (verb)" make more sense in English if you think of it as "to me." So an alternate translation would be, "The food is pleasing to me."
    – Darcinon
    Nov 11, 2015 at 22:23
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The meaning of "A mí me gusta" and "Me gusta" isn't different. Both are just saying "I like".

A little difference may exist, just emphasis: "A mí me gusta" more emphasizing the subject of the sentence. Reflexive something such as "To me I like...".

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Longer version adds a little more emphasis to who is doing the liking

Me gusta el carne - I like meat.

A mi me gusta el carne - I like meat

It pleases me. Versus.. (Well I don't care about anyone else...) it's pleasing TO ME!

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    Oh boy. La carne. la. It surprises me that you can explain gustar and get carne wrong. A bit odd.
    – Lambie
    Feb 6 at 17:19
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I would like to add something important. It is necessary to use a mí me, a él/ella le and so on when there is a contrast, comparison or some reference to another person.

For example, this is NOT correct:

  • Mi hermano detesta el tenis, pero me gusta mucho. X

Since the "liking" is being contrasted, "a mí me" must be added:

  • Mi hermano destesta el tenis, pero a mí me gusta mucho.

This concept applies for the personal pronouns yo, tú, él, ella, usted, nosotros, vosotros, ustedes, ellos, ellas as well. As you know, these pronouns are usually omitted since they are addressed by the verb conjugation. However, when there is a comparison, contrast or a sort of reference to another person, these pronouns must be mentioned.

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  • "Pero me gusta a mí" tambien se dice.
    – Lambie
    Feb 13 at 15:05
-1

A mí me gusta (redundant)

Me gusta (correct)

An example in english can be:

I was dreaming me (redundant)

I was dreaming (correct)

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    ¿Por qué es redundante? Nótese que ya hay unas cuantas respuestas que exponen sus motivos. Añadir una nueva respuesta sin mayor explicación no aporta demasiado al sitio. Te puede ser útil consultar How to Answer para aportar respuestas aún más interesantes. Gracias y bienvenido a Spanish Language.
    – fedorqui
    Nov 4, 2015 at 10:50
  • Es redundante en el sentido de duplicar, pero ello no lo hace incorrecto. La regla en español es que si antepones cualquier objeto (sea directo o indirecto o reflexivo) hay que incluirlo como pronombre átono, excepto en casos de contraste o énfasis. Pero luego hay otra regla que obliga el pronombre átono cuando el objeto es explícito y es pronombre personal (mí, ti, vos, él, ella, etc), contraste/énfasis o no. Apr 19, 2016 at 14:59

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