Teaching Spanish to Toddlers & Preschoolers

{Don’t forget about my Valentine’s Day request!}

Last week, we looked at the various “me gusta” options for what we {well, I, to be more accurate} like.  This, week I thought we could change it up a bit by adding what other people like.  This could be fun especially if your child has a sibling who can participate {or at least has obvious preferences}.

{Check my Spanish Page for the previous lessons.}

A quick review:

  • Me gusta __(1 thing).= I like (1 thing).
  • Me gustan __(2+ things)__.= I like (2+ things).
  • No me gusta(n)….=I don’t like….
  • ¿Qué te gusta?= What do you like?
  • ¿Te gusta(n) _______?= Do you like _______?
  • You ALWAYS use the article (el, la, los, las) when you use this phrasing even when it doesn’t sound right in English.

Ejemplos:

  • Me gusta la coca-cola zero. {singular “gusta” because Coke zero is singular}
  • No me gustan los gatos. {plural “gustan” because cats are plural}

Note: For your grammarians shaking your heads…

This doesn’t literally translate as ‘I like.”  That’s why there is no “yo” and the conjugated verb is not in the first person.  This is actually backwards from how we English-speakers say it: Coke Zero pleases me.  Cats do not please me.  So the subject actually follows the verb in this construct and the “me” used is actually a direct object pronoun.

Okay, I’m done.  Man, I do miss teaching, though!

Le gusta(n)….

Let’s keep it simple today.  We can apply the same principles for what other people like, there are just a few more words.  Remember that kids don’t need to understand the grammar- in fact, you’ll run them off if you even try to explain it {trust me}.  Just repeating it with fun things they know and like will suffice for most.

  • A Rebekah le gusta el pastel.

    A Rebekah le gusta el chocolate- Rebekah likes choclate {literally, Chocolate pleases Rebekah}.

  • A Luke le gusta las dulces. Luke likes sweeties {literally, Sweeties please Luke}.

*Note, both times, I used the object pronoun “le” which refers to any thrid person {he she, it, etc}.

*Also, notice that the singular/plural versions of gusta(n) still applies.  I wouldn’t harp on this at all, even if the kids mess it up {or you do, which you will if you’re not used to speaking Spanish}, they’re still getting the basic construction…and better yet, they’ll develop ears for it when native speakers use it.

We’ll leave it at that for today- kudos to you if you’ve been practicing!!

I’ll leave you with a fun little gustar song.  You’re welcome.