Alegrar and Alegrarse are very commonly used in Spanish.

I understand Alegrar is used like Gustar in that something causes one happiness.

Alegrarse is used as a reflexive verb where the emphasis is on the person, I am happy etc.

Are they both interchangeable? If I want to say, it makes me happy or I am happy because of it, is it more or less the same thing?

I understand Subjunctive can follow at times, as can the prepositions.

I have followed the podcast and transcript from "Español Automático" 222. I still have doubts despite their useful explanations. I find the 2 types of verbs confusing and indeed the use of "se" at times confuses me. Could someone look or listen to the podcast please as this is an important issue for learners? Thank you

2 Answers 2


Alegrarse is a pronominal verb. In some verbs the pronoun "se" is an intrinsic part of the verb, and alegrarse is one example.

It is important to note that alegrar means "to cause happiness" (Juan alegró a María - > Juan made María happy). Alegrarse means however "to feel happyness" (Yo me alegro de que estés bien - > I am happy you are doing well).

Gustar and alegrarse are different verbs tho. Gustar is equivalent to "to like", while "alegrarse" might be equivalent to "be delighted to/be happy to".


alegrarse is to be or become happy [oneself]. In English, we just say: I am happy, you are happy, etc.

alegrar is to make someone else happy

gustar is not a reflexive verb in the sense of alegrarse.

Yo me alegro que venciste el partido. I am happy you won the game.

Alegré a los amigos cuando les hice una fiesta. I made my friends happy when I had a party for them.

  • Thank you. I understand what you say. Perhaps, someone could explain the use of prepositin "de " and "que" in relation to such verbs?
    – Bluelion7
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 22:09
  • 1
    @Bluelion7 Different situations take different prepositions. "Yo me alegro que" is: I am happy that. de here would be: about
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 14:45

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