Translation:We like the birds, but we also like the turtles.
Sorry, you are partially wrong. Read any Spanish Grammar book. While Gustar can be conjugated, it is generally NOT. It is a Regular verb. The verb is most frequently used in the third person singular or plural to express like: Me gusta el libro (I like the book); Me gustan los libros (I like the books). The verb is used with me, te, le, nos, os and les. While ALL forms of the verb are possible, e.g., Me gustas tú. (I like you). We do NOT list the other forms. These forms are only needed by more advanced students. To express that you like someone, the verb caer is frequently used, e.g., Ella me cae bien. (I like her). In the present tense, it is used as Gusta (n). In the present perfect it will be Gustado. In imperfect, Gustaba(n), in Preterite, Gusto (Gustaron), Past Perfect Gustado, Future Gustara, Future perfect Gustado, Conditional Gustaría(n). So, for the purpose of Duolingo and the level at which I and most students of Spanish are at this stage, it is sufficient to understand only these conjugations and not confuse them with others like Gustamos, Gustais etc. that will be introduced in an advanced Spanish course.
Gustamos = "we are pleasing to" The things doing the pleasing here (the things 'we like') are birds and turtles, so we need a 3rd person pl verb = "gustan," they are pleasing" Note that it is "nos," an indirect object pronoun, not nosotros, a subject pronoun, at the beginning of the sentence, so the subject, in Spanish, is not we.
The 'nos' means something is being done to us or for us (we are being pleased), not by us.
"Birds are pleasing to us, but turtles are pleasing to us as well." = We like birds, but we also like turtles.
The key is to remember that 'gustar' means 'to be pleasing to,' even though it gets translated as 'like' in many English sentences. 'Gustar' works in Spanish the way 'disgust' and "fascinate' do in English.
Something I have wondered about is how one Spanish verb can indicate polarity. What I mean is that "disgust" and "fascinate" are antonyms; that is, two words that have opposite meanings. So, what are the contextual clues that indicate which usage is predominating in any given sentence?
(To us) -[they(we) like]- the birds, but also (to us) -they(we) like]- the turtles. In this sentence my brain is still working to determine how the ambiguity caused by my adherence to english grammer finds me wanting to direct the liking of the things in this sentence to some other entity, and not us.
My english brain sees a party of "us" and a party of "they" because of the form of "gustan". So I'm working on that cognitive dissonance. An explanation if offered would be appreciated, thank you.
It's probably because in English we phrase this idea as (subject) likes (object), so when you see some form of gustar appearing your mind immediately clicks into that way of thinking, and you take the conjugation form as the subject.
I think really it's a case of training your mind to see gustar and switch into a different way of parsing that phrase, which will get easier and more natural over time, or you could force yourself to think of it in the more literal sense of (subject) is pleasing to (object). That's probably the best approach, since direct and indirect objects pop up all the time in Spanish. Getting used to that, and the pronouns that are pop up and what they imply, will help a ton down the line.
So as an example: nos ('us' object pronoun spotted, 'us' is involved with the verb that's coming up so keep 'us' in mind) gustan ('they' form of a verb, 'they' are doing something to or with 'us') los pájaros. Ideally when you hit gustar you'll have that feeling of 'something being pleasing to' and then your brain will fill in that 'us' you've been holding on to.
I know where you're coming from, this is one of the hardest parts of reading Spanish for me. I start running into advance parties of pronouns like lo that might be fairly distant from the actual verb, so there's a bit of mental juggling going on to keep all the pieces ready to put together, and then you have to do it in the right order. Takes practice! You could also try and remember that things like me gustar mean 'I like...' as well, whatever helps.
It's not that confusing if you understand that it means 'X is pleasing to Y' instead of 'Y likes X'. Because you're talking about X doing the pleasing, you conjugate the verb depending on what X is.
You do it in English - the cat PLEASES me, cats PLEASE me, the cats HAD PLEASED me, the cat WILL HAVE PLEASED me (this is getting weird) and so on. You just adjust the verb depending on what's doing the pleasing, and you adjust the object pronoun (me, us, you guys, whatever) depending on who you're talking about.
It's just the Spanish version has the object part first (or generally anyway, I'm not an expert at all), so it's confusing at first - especially since it's always translated as 'likes' which would have the subject first. Once you get the basic idea of what the sentence is really saying, it's a lot easier to use that structure.
Here, the "a personal" has nothing to do with it. You don't need an "a" with "nos" because "nos" is a clitic pronoun--meaning that it acts as a prefix or suffix. However you would need "a" with either a noun, "a nuestras padres les gustan," or an independent pronoun, "a nosotros nos gustan."
Without any more information about the "other sentences" you're talking about, I don't know if my answer has been helpful to you or if you were confused by an error in another sentence.
You need to look up the 'personal a', I don't think we've had a lesson on it yet. Basically, when the -object- of a sentence is a person, you add the 'a'.
Veo a mi hermana = I (subject) see my sister (object). Veo mi coche = I (subject) see my car (object)
The car isn't a person, so it doesn't get the 'a'. Because my sister is, I need to put it there. There's a bit of nuance about what counts so look it up on About or something!
Gustar is a weird verb because it actually means something like 'to please' (I babbled about it up there). So with a sentence like this:
"A mis padres les gusta la cerveza"
It doesn't translate to "My parents (subject) like beer (object)". It's more like "Beer (subject) pleases my parents (object)"
So the parents are the object, they need that personal 'a', so don't be fooled by the fact they appear first in the sentence. You'll see it a lot, so you just need to get used to it. And yeah, this could have done with being introduced earlier I think - it was new to me too :/
'A mis padres' is a prepositional phase meaning 'to my parents'; It would be added to clarify 'les', the indirect object pronoun. In the sentence, 'A mis padres' is acting as an indirect object; In Spanish, the clitic pronoun can never be left out.
The personal 'a' is used with only DIRECT OBJECTS. It goes between the subject and the verb and there is not a direct object in the sentence.
Finally, a short and sweet definition of a clitic pronoun–that it can come both before and after the verb. My next question, however, is about redundant pronouns. I never get them right. Either I put them in when I shouldn't, or I omit them when I shouldn't. Anyone have any easy-to-understand suggestions? Lingots here for the taking...
Nosotros is not the subject. "A las tortugas les gustamos nosotros". It would mean "We are pleasing to the turtles. Also, indirectly translated as "The turtles like us." Try to remember this is a backwards construction the indirect object comes before the verb gustar and the subject comes after it. In the original sentence the subject is "Los pajaros" and in the next clause the subject is "las tortugas" so the verb form should be "gustan".
Read the rest of the thread for the explanation, but when you say gustamos you're saying "we are pleasing".
I'm not actually sure if your sentence makes grammatical sense, if anyone knows? Can it work without the indirect object, is it like saying 'we the birds are pleasing', in the same way as 'we the people...'?