Using 'Le' With Certain Spanish Verbs

'Gustar' Among Verbs Used With Indirect-Object Pronoun

Ruins at Tulum, Mexico.
No le interesa ir a Tulum. (Going to Tulum doesn't interest her.). Photo by B K; licensed via Creative Commons.

Although le is typically used as an indirect-object pronoun, there are some verbs that are used with le (or its plural, les) in cases where in translation English speakers use a direct-object pronoun.

'Gustar' and Verbs Similar or Opposite in Meaning

The most common such verb is gustar, which can mean "to please":

  • A ella le gusta la comida china. Chinese food pleases her. (This is a literal translation. In real life, the translation "she likes Chinese food" would usually be used.)
  • La verdad es que no les gusta la verdad. The truth is that the truth doesn't please them. (The truth is they don't like the truth.)
  • Descubrieron que les gustaban las mismas cosas. They discovered that the same things pleased them. (They discovered they liked the same things.)

In addition, many verbs similar in usage and meaning to gustar (or the opposite) are used with le or les. Some examples:

  • agradar: En su niñez, una de las cosas que más le agradaban era disfrazarse. In your childhood, one of the things you liked the most was dressing up in costumes.
  • apasionar: Le apasionaba ser actriz. She loved being an actress.
  • complacer: Le complacerá ayudarte. She will like helping you.
  • desagradar: Le desagradaba irse a su cuarto. He hated going to his room.
  • disgustar: Le disgustó mucho la película y se retiró a los 10 minutos He hated the film and left after 10 minutes.
  • encantar: A mi hija le encanta la música reggae. My daughter adores reggae music.
  • placer: Sé que mis comentarios no le placen a mucha gente. I know my comments don't please many people.

Other Verbs

Importar (to matter, to be important) and interesar (to interest) also are used with le:

  • A Jessica no le importa lo que piensen de ella. Jessica doesn't care what they may think about her.
  • A los internautas les importa la seguridad. Security is important to Internet users.
  • No les interesaba acumular ni tener propiedades. They weren't interested in accumulating nor having property.
  • No le interesa ir a Tulum. Going to Tulum doesn't interest her.