I am trying to tell someone (via email) that my friend likes football (English football i.e. soccer) but I'm not sure which one of these it would be.

Is it

A él le gusta el fútbol

or just

Le gusta el fútbol

  • 3
    Both are valid. The differences are the same as seen in this question.
    – Charlie
    Nov 21, 2016 at 11:51
  • 6
    As explained in the question @CarlosAlejo links, use the first expression if you want to emphasize that it is him who likes football and not someone else (e.g.: A él le gusta el fútbol y a ella, el baloncesto). Otherwise, just use the second one (e.g. - ¿Qué le gusta a Juan? - Le gusta el fútbol.)
    – Gorpik
    Nov 21, 2016 at 12:31

2 Answers 2


Saying "A él le gusta el fútbol" you are being more accurate (HE likes football).

With "Le gusta el fútbol" you can refer to woman or man.

  • 1
    This can be a thing, but I mainly agree with what Gorpik suggested regarding the emphasis.
    – fedorqui
    Nov 22, 2016 at 9:54

I agree with these answers. Both mean the same thing and are correct, however 'a él...' is more emphatic and I would use this perhaps in a comparison to show clarity such as:

A mí me gusta el baloncesto pero a él le gusta el fútbol

This means "As for me, I like basketball but when it comes to him, he likes football".

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