I am currently learning for my Spanish exam and I can't understand part of the following solution:

A: “He escrito un poema y se lo he enseñado a mi profesor de literatura”

B: “¿Y cómo ha reaccionado tu profesor? ¿”Qué te ha dicho?

A: “Me ha felicitado porque le ha gustado muchísimo”

In the last sentence, why is the "le" correct. To my understanding there should be an acusativo, and because we can only use "le" in the acusativo for a male person (not objects) it should be a "lo".

Does anyone know if the "le" is correct and if so, why exactly? Thanks in advance, really apreciate the help from this forum

  • 2
    From your name and location, I make an educated guess that you might know German: if this is true, think of "ihm hat das Gedicht gefallen". Ihm is dative and refers to the professor: it works the same way in Spanish. Otherwise, see my answer.
    – wimi
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 10:40
  • 1
    "Le ha gustado muchísimo" = "To-him it-has-pleased a lot" (the implicit subject is "el poema").
    – pablodf76
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 10:41
  • @wimi thanks a lot, I indeed translated it but I don't really see where the substitution of the "le poema" is. In german: "Sie hat mir gratuliert weil ES ihr sehr gefallen hat". I don't see where we have the "it" (= el poema) in the spanish sentence. Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 13:12
  • 1
    @MikeHeimlich you are right, "el poema" is completely omitted (no substitution). We often omit the subject in Spanish. I guess you can equate it with "- Wie hast du das Gedicht gefunden? - Gut, hat mir gefallen" where "es" is omitted. This is (as far as I know) very colloquial in German but standard in Spanish.
    – wimi
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 13:32
  • 1
    Ok that makes sense, just as we (most of the time) omit all the yo, tú, él. Thanks a lot! Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


Le refers to tu profesor in your sentence, and not to un poema:

  • A mi profesor le ha gustado muchísimo el poema.

Verbs like gustar with this meaning are intransitive (DLE):

  1. intr. Agradar, parecer bien.

Intransitive means that the person who likes something is the (dative) indirect object, not the (accusative) direct object. The thing that is liked (un poema) is always the subject in such sentences. Note that in Spanish grammar, we do not usually talk about "accusative" (we call this direct object, or complemento directo) or "dative" (we call this indirect object, or complemento indirecto).


Spanish is not like English.

example: Me gusta esto: subject esto, me = to me

I like this.

While in English the action is done by one, in Spanish is done by the English direct object.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.