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I'm studying Spanish and I'm having some hard time using gustar in future tense.

I do understand that the verb is reflexive and that gustarse would translate to to please someone, so simple sentences like al gato le gusto (the cat likes me) vs me gusta el gato (I like the cat).

A common question I'm asked is why are you studying Spanish and one of my reasons is that if you speak in someone's language, they will like you more.

I'd translate it to Spanish like follows:

Si hablo con alguien en su idioma, le voy a gustar más.

Or, I can say people from South American will like me more if I speak Spanish

Voy a gustarle a la gente de Sudamérica si hablo en español.

I'm not sure if the above is correct, or if this is actually used in Spanish. Could you please shed some light on this?

Thanks!

  • I'm no Spanish expert but I think that should be "me gusta el gato" (no need for the "a") and that for the rest I think that the grammatically correct way to express it is via the "conditional" because you have a definite "If A then B" set of clauses – Peter M Aug 8 at 23:35
  • You missed "más" in the second sentence. As someone from Argentina, your first one sounds way more natural than the second one. That said, there's nothing wrong with the second sentence when you add the missing word. – Martin Argerami Aug 9 at 18:50
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The verb "gustar" is not reflexive, unless your self-esteem leads you to say something like: Me gusto (I like myself).

The pronoun that accompanies the verb "gustar" is the indirect object. The verb "gustar" works like "appeal to":

  • El gato me gusta = The cat appeals to me.

In the sentence above, "el gato" is the subject and "me" is the indirect object. Proof of this is that, if the subject is plural, "gusta" changes to "gustan":

  • Los gatos me gustan.

You can also use the prepositional verb "gustar de" (which is much less common), and say something like:

  • (Yo) Gusto del gato. (which, truth to tell, sounds weird, and is more usual with people: Gusto de Juan / María)

In the sentence above, which is more like the English "I like the cat", "yo" is the subject and "del gato" is known as "complemento de régimen", with "el gato" being the recipient of your liking.

In the future, the verb works exactly in the same way:

  • El gato me gustará / El gato me va a gustar.

In your other sentence:

  • Le voy a gustar si hablo en español.

the subject is tacit ("yo") and the person who will like you is, again, the indirect object. The sentence above can thus be translated to:

  • I will appeal to him/her if I speak in Spanish.

If the indirect object is plural, you have:

  • Les voy a gustar si hablo en español (I will appeal to them if I speak in Spanish).
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    (+1) although I have never had problems with gustar I had never thought of the similarity with appeal to which makes it much easier to explain to anglophones. – mdewey Aug 9 at 11:08
  • I remember using it to explain to my students how subject and object work in both languages, with like being similar to gustar de and with appeal to being similar to gustar. – Gustavson Aug 9 at 13:45

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