"I like the date."
Translation:Eu gosto da data.
It is a preposition, which combines "de"(of) + "o"(the) = da. This phrase derives from the sentence: I like it (the date) - Eu gosto de ela (a data).
It is often used when a verb acts on a object, e.g:
- I like to run : eu gosto de correr
- I like drinking : eu gosto de beber
- Eu gosto da casa : I like the house.
The preposition “de” is used to indicate possession, origin, and material. It is also used with some verbs such as gostar de (to like), precisar de (to need) and to indicate the kind of transport used to reach a place. ...
In some cases de is used with definite articles forming contractions (see the chart below). Usually the contractions are used to specify the word the preposition is connected to and also to show the ownership of something.( http://www.easyportuguese.com/Portuguese-Lessons/Prepositions.html)