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Gusta vs. Gustan — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 8, 2023
"Gusta" is used with singular nouns and infinitive verbs to indicate liking, while "Gustan" is used with plural nouns to indicate the same.
Gusta vs. Gustan — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Gusta and Gustan


Key Differences

"Gusta" and "Gustan" are both forms of the Spanish verb "gustar," which means "to be pleasing to" or "to like." In English, we say "I like the book." In Spanish, it's "El libro me gusta," which translates to "The book is pleasing to me."
"Gusta" is used when the subject is a singular noun or an infinitive verb. For instance, if you like to dance, you would say "Me gusta bailar." Here, "bailar" is an infinitive verb, so "gusta" is used. Similarly, if you like the sun, you'd say "Me gusta el sol."
On the other hand, "Gustan" is employed when the subject is plural. If you appreciate multiple items or concepts, "Gustan" is the form to use. For instance, "Me gustan las flores" means "I like the flowers." In this sentence, "las flores" (the flowers) is plural, hence the use of "gustan."
A point to remember is that while "Gusta" and "Gustan" refer to the liking of something, the structure of the sentence is quite different from English. Instead of the person doing the liking (as in English), the thing being liked is the subject of the sentence in Spanish.
Another key distinction between "Gusta" and "Gustan" is the kind of object they refer to. "Gusta" is utilized with singular entities, and "Gustan" is for plural entities. It's essential to recognize the subject's plurality to use "gustar" correctly.

Comparison Chart


With singular nouns/verbs
With plural nouns


"Is pleasing to" (singular)
"Are pleasing to" (plural)


Me gusta el café.
Me gustan las manzanas.

Subject type

Singular or infinitive verbs
Plural nouns


"I like the coffee."
"I like the apples."

Compare with Definitions


Used with infinitive verbs to indicate enjoyment.
Me gusta correr.


Refers to liking multiple items.
Me gustan los gatos.


Expresses fondness for an activity.
Me gusta leer.


Used to show appreciation for a group of things.
Me gustan esas canciones.


Refers to liking a singular item.
Me gusta la música.


Indicates a personal preference for various entities.
Me gustan tus ideas.


Signifies appreciation for a particular thing.
Me gusta ese vestido.


Conveys an affinity for multiple subjects.
Me gustan las montañas.


Indicates a personal preference.
Me gusta tu estilo.


Signifies an admiration for several things.
Me gustan los colores de ese cuadro.

Common Curiosities

When do I use "Gusta"?

Use "Gusta" with singular nouns or infinitive verbs.

Can I say "Me gusta las flores"?

No, the correct form is "Me gustan las flores."

What do "Gusta" and "Gustan" mean?

Both are forms of the Spanish verb "gustar," meaning "to be pleasing to" or "to like."

When is "Gustan" appropriate?

Use "Gustan" with plural nouns.

Can I use "Gustan" with a singular noun?

No, "Gustan" is for plural nouns only.

Can "Gusta" be used with activities?

Yes, with infinitive verbs, e.g., "Me gusta bailar" (I like to dance).

Is it always "me gusta" or "me gustan"?

It depends on who is doing the liking. "Me" is for "I," but you might have "te gusta" for "you like" or "le gusta" for "he/she/it likes."

Why does Spanish use "Gusta" instead of "like"?

In Spanish, the liked thing is the subject, unlike English where the liker is the subject.

How do I say "I like the sun" in Spanish?

"Me gusta el sol."

Can I use "Gusta" with multiple items?

No, for multiple items, use "Gustan."

What if I want to say "We like the books"?

You'd say "Nos gustan los libros."

How is the structure of "gustar" different from English "like"?

In English, the person liking is the subject. In Spanish, the thing being liked is the subject.

Is "gustar" only used for things and activities?

No, it can be used for people too, e.g., "Me gusta Juan" (I like Juan).

How do I say "I like cats" in Spanish?

"Me gustan los gatos."

Can I say "Me gustan bailar"?

No, the correct form is "Me gusta bailar."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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