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  5. "My father likes basketball."

"My father likes basketball."

Translation:A mi padre le gusta el baloncesto.

May 2, 2018



Is the "A" necessary? Is "Mi padre le gusta el basquetbol" incorrect?


I would like to read the answer on this discussion group not someplace else. Why is the A necessary?


This is called the "Personal 'A'" and has no English equivalent. When the direct object of a sentence is a person, the Personal "A" must proceed the reference to that person. Think of this sentence as saying "Basketball is pleasing to my father". So in this sentence, "my father (Mi padre)" is the direct object, and needs the Personal "A". Tough topic, and one that causes much confusion.


In the sentence "A mi padre le gusta el baloncesto" the verb "gustar" has a subject (el baloncesto), an indirect object ("le" referring to "mi padre") and no direct object. The "a mi padre" is a prepositional phrase meaning "to my father". The sentence can be literally translated "Basketball is pleasing to my father."

The "personal 'a'" is not needed in this sentence since the verb has no direct object.

"Le" in this sentence has to be an indirect object. The corresponding direct object pronouns are "lo" (masculine) and "la" (feminine).


Confusion? I'll say. My brain is exploding. There is also something about gusta having to do with how Dad feels about basketball.


So why does the personal mis hermanos not need the A in mis hermanos escuchan musica en la sala My siblings are listening to music is just as personal as Mi padre


In “Mis hermanos.....” “Mis hermanos” is the subject of the sentence so the personal A Is not needed. As explained eloquently above, in “A mi padre le gusta el baloncesto”, the object is “Mi padre”, and therefore requires the personal A.


Does this application of the "personsl A" only apply st the beginning of a sentence, or is it also applied mid sentence? Or is this the point, that direct objects are always at the beginning of a sentence?


Just so we're all clear, the subject in this sentence is "el baloncesto" (or I guess it accepts "el básquetbol" which seems to be mostly used in parts of Latin America). "Mi padre" is an indirect object. Gustar will never have a direct object. Please read into this verb and how it works before spamming the same questions!


You can also look at the "tips" that Duolingo provides before starting the lesson. Click the little light bulb above the "Start" button to see them. For this skill:



So I have been using Duolingo for a few months now and I did not notice the little light bulb before or know what it offered. Thank you for pointing that out!! It is very helpful :)


thank you. never knew that was there!

[deactivated user]

    Tommy, who died and made you boss that you can order people what to do? Don't come to the comment section if you don't like it. Problem solved,


    No one did. The Spanish language just works that way, Sam


    I have the same question...why it is necessery to use "A..."?


    Duolongo drives me nuts with things like this. The structure 'A mi ... le gusta' is given absolutely NO justification. It is just dropped on you with no explanation. Maddening.


    You can look at the "tips" that Duolingo provides before starting the lesson. Click the little light bulb above the "Start" button to see them. For this skill:



    Why is there "el"? Why is "A mi padre le gusta baloncesto" wrong?


    You need the el because this sentence is making a generalization about basketball. "Basketball (in general) pleases my father". Spanish always uses the article when talking about a subject in general.


    Don't feel bad. Those articles have been a source of pain in my _ear for some time now. Have a lingot on me.


    the website studyspanish.com/grammar is an excellent place to get answers to questions like this. Others have suggested this site at points when I've had exactly these kinds of questions, and the site has proven to be terrific. The section on 'The Personal A" should answer your question. That's where I went to after my previous post, and the answer was both clear and helpful.


    The problem is when you're inexperienced and they tell you one way is right and tehn change it to something "More correct" later. Just give me the correct translation the first.


    Absolutely. The "Personal A" should've been introduced as part of the sentence structure much earlier. It's very frustrating to learn something this basic now, after months of lessons.


    Gracias MikeSueirro! I feel totally lost with the se gusta, le gusta, A mi papa, etc. I've never had such difficulty until now. I'm totally frustrated.


    Thanks for the helpful information! This is a useful comment.


    Very helpful, thank you!


    Thanks for this link, really helpful.


    mi padre se gusta el basketbol why is this wrong?


    "Se" only replaces "le" when there are two pronouns in a sentence. So, if "basketball" were implied by previous conversation, you could say "A mi padre se lo gusta."


    I confused as well. Why is "a" needed?


    This is what is called "The Personal "A"". It is used when you are referring to a specific person as the direct object of a sentence. There is no English equivalent so it can be confusing. I found this very quick video to be useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPNWu61BAtQ


    Gustar never uses a direct object. It only takes an indirect object.


    That A at the beginning is driving me nuts


    Why is it "gusta el baloncesto" and not just "gusta baloncesto"?


    Why "el" in front of baloncesto?


    You need the el because this sentence is making a generalization about basketball. "Basketball (in general) pleases my father".
    Spanish uses an article (like el) in front of a noun when that noun is the subject of a generalization (which el baloncesto is here), although English does not use it in that scenario.


    In this type of sentence (using the verbs gustar and encantar, among others), "el baloncesto" is actually the subject of the sentence. Think of the sentence as saying "Basketball is pleasing to my father". In Spanish, the subject of the sentence needs an article.


    Why does it seem that the personal A is used in a sentence when a name or family member "likes or loves" a sport, job, or something else but is not used when "like or love" is not mentioned? I grabbed my phone and checked google translate conversation mode. I tried various sentences with and without "like or love" and this is what I noticed. Personal A is only used when names or family members along with like or love were included in the same sentence. When "like or love" was not included the personal A was not required. What is correct and incorrect?


    Disclaimer: I'm just learning too so I might have some errors, but I think I've got the gist of it (feel free to correct me).

    In English, in sentences like "my father eats food" and "my father likes food", my father is the subject and food is the object. In Spanish, some verbs like eat work the same way, so "my father eats food" -> "mi padre come comida"; mi padre is the subject in both languages.
    The spanish gustar, however, is used the other way around (same goes for encantar). Comida is the subject, and mi padre is the object in the Spanish translation: "he likes food" -> "A mi padre le gusta la comida".
    The personal a is used when the person is the object of a sentence, but not when they are the subject, and that's why you see it in the sentence with likes, but not in the sentence with eats.

    Hope that helps!


    Hi Felicity, this is your future self speaking ;)

    That explanation isn't quite right. The a that is used with gustar is actually not the "personal a", it is a preposition. If you think of "a mi padre le gusta [X]" as "to my father [X] is pleasing", the "a" in the Spanish sentence corresponds to the "to" in the English sentence.


    I'm not a native speaker, but I'll try and answer from I learned back in high school a few years back.

    The general settup is "A [prepositional pronoun or proper noun] [indirect object pronoun] gusta(n)/encanta(n)" ("n" if direct object, which performs that action of pleaseing/being loved by indirect object, is plural) (direct object can be an action in the infinitive as well as a noun)

    Trying to translate this literally is impossible, but my best attempt is "To my father, basketball pleases him".


    Hi all . when should one use "se" and when "le" gusta ?!

    [deactivated user]

      Why Mark whole answer wrong just for not putting A,??


      OK DL is trying to teach using "A Personal A" in the sentence. Why not include the "A" in the hover hints ?


      Why do you need the 'el' when in the previous question you didn't need 'los' for deportes?


      My question is what's the difference between "basquetbol" and "baloncesto"?


      Is the A just for singular persons and not plural like before "my brothers"?


      No, you'd still use the a if this sentence said "my brothers" instead of "my father"; it would be "a mis hermanos les gusta el baloncesto".


      I don't understand why sometimes a sentence begins with A. Help!


      Do you need the el before baloncesto because i got it wrong when i didnt put the el. But wouldnt el be the basketball?


      Yes, you do need "el". In this type of sentence (using the verbs gustar or encantar), "el baloncesto" is actually the subject of the sentence. Think of it as saying "Basketball is pleasing to my father". We don't say it that way, but that is how the sentence is constructed. The subject of the sentence (baloncesto in this case) needs an article.


      what is the A for. mi padre le gusta el basquetbol (why baloncesto)??


      I don't get when i'm supposed to use the article & when i'm not. The previous sentence had a similar format ( a [person] le gusta/encana [generic sport]), but i was labeled as wrong when i had the article there, so i dropped the article here, and was still wrong


      I don't understand why i have to start with "A" instead of just starting with "Mi padre"


      Mark304498 thank you for the link to the video. It was very helpful.

      [deactivated user]

        why is "A" used infront of mi?


        check the beginning of this thread. That's what this thread is about.


        Why can't I just say "Mi padre te gusto el baloncesto"? Again, when does one use the A and when not?


        This is called the "Personal 'A'" and has no English equivalent. When the direct object of a sentence is a person, the Personal "A" must proceed the reference to that person. Think of this sentence as saying "Basketball is pleasing to my father". So in this sentence, "my father (Mi padre)" is the direct object, and needs the Personal "A". Tough topic, and one that causes much confusion.

        Also, it has to be "le gusta" rather than "te gusto". "Te" is if you are talking directly to someone and means "you". "Le" is used when you are talking about someone (him/her/my father, etc.)


        Why a mi padre and not mi padre


        Why do I need to put the 'la' here? I've answered other questions like 'A Felipe le gusta ir a cociertos en el verano' and it was fine. Why is it a problem here?


        Why cant I say "a mi papá" ? It seems more natural and convey's the same meaning unless you;re talking about a priest in which case I imagine you would say, "a mi sarcedote"....


        WHAT!!! You can say that again!


        Me gusta el baloncesto - yep. Works.

        Te gusta el baloncesto - yep.

        Mi padre gusta baloncesto - holy crap, that makes no sense! It meana nothing! Here, do this to it:

        A mi padre le gusta el baloncesto. <- makes 100% sense, and is wholly rational and logical.

        That's the message I feel like I'm getting on this.


        Think of it this way: Yo gusta el baloncesto doesn't work. Neither does Tú gusta el baloncesto. You've already gotten familiar the indirect object pronouns of "Me" for "I", and and Te" for "You".

        So when you want to say "He" or "She", you have to use "Le". And if you want to further clarify who "He" or "She" is, you've got to add in the "A mi padre".


        i thought they just taught us that se was used for he and she, now it is le?


        Checked out answer below. My question was also for the A. Will try to remember.


        I thought, obviously incorrectly, that using el baloncesto would mean that my father likes a specific basketball, whereas leaving off the el would mean he likes the sport of basketball. If I gave my father a gift of a basketball, how would I say he likes that basketball?


        You could specify by saying "a mi padre le gusta este baloncesto" ("my father likes this basketball").


        Why a difference is made between like and love, in dutch it means about the same


        Nothing wrong with "le gusta a mi padre el baloncesto", surely?


        Some times duolingo doesnt use el after gusta sometimes it does..I'm going nuts. I read the below comments on the same subject, still doesn't make sense!


        The subject of the sentence follows "gusta". If the subject is a noun, as in this case, it needs an article. So it could be "el baloncesto", "la casa", "este carro", etc. But it the subject is a gerund, which is a verb functioning as a noun, you won't see an article. For instance, if I like to run, I would say "Me gusta correr". This may be why you are seeing an article sometimes, but not other times.


        That is really helpful thanks!


        Can please someone explain how basketball is "baloncesto" in Spanish? Baseball and football remains unchanged, yet basketball has its own Spanish name.


        Not sure if usage is regional, but you can also say basquetbol.


        Why is it le gusta and not le gusto.


        My understanding:

        Le gusta - he/she please him/her (he/she likes him/her/it)

        Le gusto - I please him/her (he/she likes me)


        Why isn´t it ¨al¨ baloncesto?


        Must admit i am confused with the personal "a". Thanks for the light bulb tip.


        In another exercise I typed A marido, it was wrong. I am confused.


        Marido is husband, not father.


        I don't have the tips and the light what should i do?


        Sigh. You actually can. The notes/tips for Spanish are available in computer browser and mobile app. Even in mobile browser. Before taking a lesson, click on the lesson, and some buttons will come up. Look for the button with the lightbulb on it or the one with the word TIPS written in it (if you already updated) and voila you can now read the notes necessary for the lesson.


        Why f..k this A is necesitamos????


        papa = padre ?????? dont make me uninstall this app because of such stupid mistakes ! :)


        I get it right but duolingo says no. Doohhhhh


        Next time something like that happens, please put your full answer in your comment as well. Then we can help double check it in case you had some error that you didn't notice (it's pretty easy to overlook your own typos!), or at least we can confirm if it does indeed look right and was an issue on Duo's side.


        Agree. Suddenly' A' appears with no explanation. Very confusing. Been trying to learn during lockdowns but hard work sometimes


        Can it be just "le gusta el baloncesto" without specifying A Mi Padre?


        That is also a grammatical sentence, but not a good translation for Duo's sentence, since it loses any specific reference to your father (it just means "he/she likes basketball", or potentially "you [formal] like basketball").


        I know this sounds redundant, however I'm still so so confused on when to use el vs al. I put A mi padre le gusta al baloncesto and was wrong. In the same lesson they made me use al baloncesto next lesson it was el baloncesto.. Iiiii yaya


        Whether you need an a in front of a sport or not (remembering that al is a contraction of a + el) depends on the verb that comes before it.

        Some verbs need to be followed by specific prepositions (little words like a, en, con) when they are followed by a noun (https://www.lawlessspanish.com/grammar/verbs/verbs-with-prepositions/). Jugar is an example of a verb that needs to be followed by a, so sentences using jugar are a common scenario where you'll see "jugar al baloncesto". But in this sentence, there isn't any verb in front of el baloncesto that requires adding an a, so that's why it's just "le gusta el baloncesto".

        Hope that makes it a bit more clear!


        I agree, I hardly think "a" is necessary since there's no confusion as to who is liking basketball.


        Are you looking at a different sentence? There is no 'del' in this sentence. 'A mi padre le gusta el baloncesto.'


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