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Published on: Grammar Bites

Gustar, encantar, preferir… how do we talk about hobbies & likes?

When discussing our likes, dislikes and hobbies en español, we have a wide range of verbs and expressions. Let’ take a look!

Gustar: this is our go-to verb when talking about the things and activities we enjoy. However, we have to remember that gustar has a special type of conjugation: the verb must agree with the object, that is, with the thing we like:

  • Me gusta la natación. I like swimming.
  • Me gustan los deportes de equipo como el fútbol o el baloncesto. I like team sports like soccer or basketball.
  • Me gusta ver los Juegos Olímpicos. I like to watch the Olympics. 
  • No me gusta la esgrima. I don’t like fencing.
  • No me gustan los deportes. I don’t like sports.
  • No me gusta correr. I don’t like to run.

Notice how the verb gustar is conjugated in the singular form (gusta) when talking about actions (ver, correr) or a single object (natación, esgrima) and in the plural form (gustan) when talking about plural objects (deportes).

Other verbs that work just like gustar to discuss our likes and hobbies:

Encantar: to really like something, to love

  • Me encantan las películas de terror. I love horror movies.
  • Nos encanta viajar a lugares nuevos. We love travelling to new places.

Interesar: to be interested in something

  • A ella le interesa mucho la arqueología. She’s very interested in archeology.
  • ¿Te interesa el arte? Are you interested in art?

Parecer: to think, to seem. We use to give our opinion on a topic.

  • Cocinar me parece muy relajante. I find cooking very relaxing.
  • A ellos les parece fascinante coleccionar estampillas. They think collecting stamps is fascinating.

Additionally, we can also use verbs that have a more typical conjugation such as:

Preferir: to discuss our hobbie preferences.

  • Yo prefiero pintar con acuarelas en vez de lápices. I prefer to paint with watercolors instead of pencils.
  • Ellas prefieren practicar danza moderna por eso cambiaron de estudio. They prefer to practice modern dancing that’s why they switched studios.

Querer: to express our intentions in regards to a hobbie.

  • Queremos aprender español. We want to learn Spanish.
  • Quiero mejorar mi pronunciación en español. I want to improve my Spanish pronounciation.
  • No quiero practicar más tenis; quiero probar una actividad nueva. I don’t want to practice tennis anymore. I want to try a new activity.