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  5. "Me gustan los dulces navideñ…

"Me gustan los dulces navideños."

Translation:I like Christmas sweets.

December 18, 2013



Navideños: navidad+eños

-eño is a Spanish sufix similar in meaning to English -al. So you could say that this word is something like "christmal" or "christmasal".


In English, we can shove two nouns together, so that the first noun is a descriptor (like an adjective) for the second noun. This drives many learners of English crazy, although it's completely natural for native speakers.

dog house, apartment building, office furniture, cat tree, exercise bicycle, street address, Christmas tree, Christmas candy, Christmas sweater, etc, etc.


Cat tree was a new one for me and sounded like nonsense until I looked it up. We just call them scratching posts in the UK.


Well we do that in german too even without any space: hundehütte, apartmentgebäude, büromöbel, katzenkratzbaum, übungsfahrrad, strassenadresse, weihnachtsbaum, weihnachtsgebäck, weihnachtsbekleidung etc.


I've never heard the phase "cat tree" - we call them scratching posts in Australia.


Agreeing with ShellyLiebmann and telemtry elsewhere in the thread, to many in Canada and the U.S., a "scratching post" is a half metre to a metre tall with a rough surface for scratching. Mine is basically a rigid traffic cone with rope wrapped around it.

A "cat tree" is more elaborate, is usually taller, and has at least one platform -- mine has five levels and is about 3 metres tall. Some have stairs, tunnels, and/or little "houses". Even more elaborate ones have branches that reach out horizontally as well as vertically. They usually incorporate a scratching post as one of the features. For us, it would be strange to call that just a scratching post.

I'm not sure where CharlesDain is coming from; perhaps he is not picturing the same thing. Far from being a "redneck" term, urban cat households (of various coloured necks) use "cat tree" to describe said item. Indeed, it is because most of us do not allow our cats outside that we find a need to give them a place to climb and look down upon the world. :-)


Interesting. I see the distinction between the elaborate and simple scratching apparatuses that cats can use. It would be helpful to have two different words I suppose to be more accurate.


I'm Aussie and have lived in most of the states. Most places I see call the little version a scratching post, and the multi-leveled version are cat trees.


I think a general translation would be something like "of Christmas" - so sweets of Christmas, in this case. A bit awkward and we prefer other phrasing for most things, but it gets the idea across.

Thanks for the pointer about the suffix!


Perhaps you mean it's like the suffix -y?


Not really. It more similar to "al" as in front-al, fate-al, palate-al, etc; than it is to "y" as in girl-y, lump-y, jump-y etc. (Bonus points if you can state the three different ways in which I just used -y!)


But to say the word would be like the word "Christmasal" makes no sense to me. -al can be added to a limited number of words whereas -y can be added to more words in a way that might not be grammatically correct but makes sense to the person reading/listening.


Then how shall we refer to things which pertain to Christmas?


Christmassy would mean evocative of Christmas, or like Christmas, no? I don't think it's a good adjective for things like "christmas trees", "christmas songs", "christmas presents", etc.

The adjective which i believe is currently most common is "christmas", as in the above sentence.

Something can be "christmassy" without being "christmas(adj)", just like something can be "nation-y" without being national.


Sorry to wade in here, but I don't think that MystyrNile was saying that 'Christmal' or 'Christmasal' (or even 'Nativital') is actually a word, although one of them possibly should be, he was saying that the suffix '-eño' is like using the English suffix 'al' (which basically means 'of or pertaining to').

This is the idea that the word 'navideño' conveys, of or pertaining to Christmas, and if we see other '-eño' suffixed words then this is what it can mean, like with 'costeño' (costa + eño) which means coastal (of or pertaining to the coast).

We don't seem to have an equivalent word for 'navideño' in English, Christmassy (or Christmasy) is just not the same.


"Christmas" put before the noun seems to be the usual -- Christmas trees, Christmas presents, Christmas vacation. I've also seen people on Twitter use "Christmasy" as an adjective -- "Wearing red and green -- I feel so Christmasy today", "My office is so Christmasy right now I feel sick," but that's pretty informal -- Google Chrome doesn't recognize the spelling.


I figure "árbol navideño" would be understood, even if it is hardly said, like "happy christmas". This is probably because "navideño" is a sufficiently common word.


So far in the lessons common descriptive adjectives went after the noun and noun-adjectives (like Christmas) went after the noun with "de" in between. "-enos" seems to be first first suffix. Is it ever used with other words?


lol i didnt get why is was christmasal .. like why add al on the end i dont know what that means. but now i get it.


Why "me gustan", is it because there are multiple Christmas sweets.


So if the sentence had said "The Christmas sweet is pleasing to me," it would have been "me gusta" instead?


Correct! This is because the verb relates to "the sweet/sweets" and not to "me".


Technically, but that's a bit misleading.

The form of the verb is based on the subject, so we're used to seeing something like "I eat strawberries = Yo como fresas" where the verb ignores the plural strawberries.

But gustar actually means "to please", so in this case the subject is the sweets (they are pleasing = [ellos] gusta) and we have an indirect object of [to] "me" - i.e. they are pleasing to me = me gusta.


You explained this perfectly, thanks very much.


Thank you, this answered my question perfectly!


ok so it sounds like the literal translation is "Those christmas sweets are pleasing to me"


Mostly correct. The word for "those" isn't in this sentence, but that's the most literal translation for gustar.


on the hover 'gustan' is they/you-plural. how does this translate to 'I like'?


Gustar is "to please" so Gustan is "they please" and the reflexive "Me" changes it to this: They are pleasing to me.


And "They are pleasing to me" has the same meaning as "I like"?

Its a bit confusing, but your help was helpful :)


It is confusing but they do translate to be the same meaning. If you want to know whether it should be "gustan" or "gusta", just flip the sentence around to see if it is "They are pleasing to ... " OR "He/She/It is pleasing to ... " If it is THEY are pleasing, then you use "gustan". If it is He/She/It is pleasing, then you use "gusta".


I think "gustar" is closer to "to be pleasing" than "to please", because it is intransitive, and its objects must be dative, like "me" which means "to me".


I feel like this was never explained to me when I took Spanish in college, but I don't know why it wasn't because it finally makes sense.


Gustar and similar verbs take some getting used to; I think many of us make tons of mistakes when first introduced to them. To our way of thinking (in English), the use is "backwards" (the way that the use of apostrophe + s for possession is "backwards" for most people learning English). Anyway, I hope this link helps:



why is it "Me gustan" not "Yo gustan"? could you use yo in this sentence as well?


As commented above, gustar means "is pleasing to" so you're the direct object in this sentence and the sweets are pleasing you. This is the closest analogue Spanish has for "to like" in English.


I think I get how "Me gustan" works but is "Yo gusto..." ever used? Can someone give an example and translation?


In my Spanish class at school we learned that when you want to talk about things that you like you use 'Me gusta(n).' You use 'gusta' when the thing that you like to do is unconjugated or the object that you like is singular (play 'jugar,' swim 'nadar,' Christmas 'Navidad,'). So use 'gusta' for objects or verbs that anyone likes. Use 'gustan' when that thing that you like is plural so like in this case 'dulces.'

When different people like things you have to use a different pronoun. When I like something I use 'me.' When I am saying that you like something I use 'te.' When someone I talking about (he or she) or I am using Usted I use 'le.' If we like something I use 'nos' and if they or y'all like something I use 'les.'

Examples: Me gustan libros. I like books. Te gusta nadar. You like to swim. Le gusta comer. She likes to eat. Nos gustan los diarios. We like newspapers. Les gusta beber agua. They like to drink water.

I hope this helps clarify!


Gustar means 'to be pleasing to'. It's always used in the reflexive form, which means object pronoun (me/te/nos/les) + gusta(n). Whether it's gusta or gustan depends on whether the object being liked is singular or plural.


I think that would literally translate as 'I am pleasing...' which probably doesn't come up much! Generally I'd say it needs an indirect object - you're saying who or what you're pleasing to, so you're more likely to see something like 'me gusto' (I like myself - I'm pleasing to myself literally), 'te gusto' (I'm pleasing to you) and so on.

You'll do lessons on indirect objects later (or you could look at the site Daniel-in-BC linked), but for gustar you'd probably be best learning the phrases that are used to talk about liking things. Conjugate gustar for the thing(s) being liked, and put the indirect object for the liker (me, te, le etc.) in front of it.


Yeah I think it's better if I do more lessons before I get deeper into this. This Christmas lesson is early on the skill tree so I thought it would be around my level. Thanks!


I put "I love Christmas sweets" and this is wrong? Is it only a mild pleasure?


In Spanish, they don't really use "love" (querer or amar) for things we really like, as we do in English.

Me encantan los dulce navideños would be a way of saying "I love Christmas sweets."

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