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  5. "I like chocolate cake."

"I like chocolate cake."

Translation:Me gusta el pastel de chocolate.

June 15, 2018



Why do you need the article "el" in front of pastel. Why can't I just say: "Me gusta pastel de chocolate"


You're talking about all chocolate cake in general, and it's the subject of the sentence (Chocolate cake is pleasing to me.), so the article is needed.
It'll be used before nouns after gusta/n. Me gusta el español. (I like Spanish.) Me gustan los perros. (I like dogs.) No te gustan los exámenes. (You don't like exams.) No nos gusta la ensalada. (We don't like salad.)


This makes sense to me, but what I'm having trouble understanding is if we use el/la/los/las with nouns in both a general sense ("I like chocolate cake") AND in a specific sense ("I like THE chocolate cake"), how do we know which way to translate a sentence in English? Can you shed any light on this? Thanks :)


It's just context of the situation, which you're not going to have on a language learning app since each sentence is unrelated to the last.


why do we use de can't it be el pastel chocolate


There may be exceptions, but when two nouns (and chocolate is used as a noun here) are used together they are joined by "de"--think of it as saying "a cake (made) of chocolate). It is called contiguity, and is probably clearer when both words are obviously nouns such as sunglasses which translates to "gafas de sol". This also applies to gerunds ("ing" form of the verb used as a noun) such as "parking". An example is parking garage "garage de estacionamiento" or the more Americanized "garage de parking". It seems awkward initially but is very common--mandatory actually in Spanish and Romance languages with which I am familiar. In English we sometimes, but not always, run the words together without spaces. I think the notes in one module covers it.


Thanks, Marcy. Also, here's an explanation of article usage with examples: https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/using-the-definite-article-in-spanish


The attached link (on the rla951 comment) has a practice quiz that is excellent for teaching the use of the definite article. I scored 80%, I should have done better, but this is still new to me.


Seems like if you're talking about a specific cake, you'd use the article (me gusta el pastel/the cake is pleasing to me), but if you're talking about cake in general then you wouldn't use the article (me gusta pastel/cake is pleasing to me)?


In Spanish, the definite article is used with nouns in a general sense and with nouns in a specific sense. Out of context, it will be ambiguous.


I'm confused by your comment. It basically says the definite article is ALWAYS used - "with nouns in a general sense and with nouns in a specific sense." Is there any other way for a noun to be used?


Yes. In English, it would be "some" or "a"

I like ALL chocolate cake.

I like THE chocolate cake.

I like SOME chocolate cake.

I like A chocolate cake.

The last two examples would not use the definite article.


I am relatively fluent in Spanish, and I still occasionally struggle with this. Imagine people coming from languages that have no definite article such as Thai and Chinese--they hardly know when to put it in. At least Spanish and English match up most of the time. I still remember a sign outside a hotel in Thailand that started its message with, "Dear the guest......"


LOL, so true! The poor Russians -- at first my friend was leaving out "the" where it belonged, so I'd correct him, but then he overcompensated by putting it in where it didn't belong. I don't know how anyone ever learns English!


thank you great answer


Would it be permissible to say "Me gustan los pasteles de chocolate" to show that you're talking generically about chocolate cake and not a particular chocolate cake?


I have the same question.


I'm sorry, i speak Spanish but I'm trying to learn the grammar, and the way chocolate is pronounced in this sentence is really unusual and I doubt I've ever heard a Spanish speaker pronounce it that way.


If the question doesn't specify "the" cake, the the answer shouldn't require it.


In Spanish, the definite article is used with nouns in a general and with nouns in a specific sense. You're talking about all chocolate cake here.


Is it always "gusta" for "like"? Cake is masculine, so why not "gusto"?


Whenever you open a module, instead of pressing START, press the lightbulb, first. THAT is where the lesson is. In Preferences, you get https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/Preference/tips which will explain in a very simple way, how to use "me gusta". Unfortunately, I can not find any clear way to understand why we have to say "el pastel".


"Pasteles" or "los pasteles" should probably be accepted as well as the singular "el pastel." Question sounds like they are describing a general like for chocolate cakes, not just a like for one specific chocolate cake. Certainly a Spanish speaker would understand this if the plural were used, not only the singular. Right?


Why can't I use yo instead of me


You use "yo" for the subject, like you would use "I" in English.

In Spanish, you are saying 'The chocolate cake pleases me" so you say "me", not "yo".
Me gusta = It pleases me
el pastel de chocolate = the chocolate cake


I'm at a loss too. why not, Yo gusto el pastel de chocolate. The sentence asked is, I like chocolate cake, not The chocolate cake pleases me. I guess my question is, why not say it in the way a Spanish speaker would think. I would hope to be able to think in Spanish as I'm speaking.


In Spanish, there is no such thing as "I like the chocolate cake," only "The chocolate cake pleases me." Gustarse is a reflexive verb, and can't be used otherwise.


have searched Duolingo's dictionary and spanishdict.com and didn't find "gustarse" in either of them.


Alas, probably none of us are grammarians--but--try not to fight this construction---you HAVE to learn it whether you call gustar(se) a normal verb, a reflexive verb, or a "verb like gustar" for which I found an interesting website, posted below. Additionally, I tried the spanishdict.com and as you said, didn't find gustarse listed per se, but the first example on that website (for gustar) is "Me gusta la comida mexicana--I like Mexican food. Is it reflexive---not in the traditional sense, nor is it reciprocal (such as we hug EACH OTHER). Hopefully the following website will make everybody right and everybody happy---but you still have to master this idiomatic construction. https://www.realfastspanish.com/vocabulary/verbs-like-gustar


That's because DuosDaddy's first sentence was correct but his second one wasn't. It's not reflexive -- that's for when you do something to yourself, like ducharse (shower) or sentarse (sit down). Here the thing (cake) is doing something (pleasing) to you.


Why is torta incorrect here ?


Sorry for the repeat question but I'm still not getting why "gusta" is used rather than "gusto". According to SpanishDict.com, "gusto" is the present indiciative used with "yo".


In reality, rather than saying “I like cake”, you’re really saying “cake pleases me”. You demonstrate who is being pleased - “me” - by using the Spanish word “me”. Then you need to demonstrate what’s doing the pleasing - the “cake”, or in other words “it”. The correct conjugation for he, she or it is “gusta”. So in the end, you have “me gusta el pastel”. “Me gusto” would basically mean “I please me” or “I like myself”.


Think of gustar almost like the opposite of the English word 'disgusts'. SomeTHING disgusts you, OR something pleases you. That way, you can view the verb how it is actually used: Chocolate cake pleases me, or in my case Chocolate cake disgusts me.


That's only when it means "to taste." If that site says otherwise, it's wrong. For "like" you have to think of it as "it pleases me" -- me gusta. It's the thing that's taking the action, not you.


Why is this gusta instead of gusto? Pastel is masculine & with no obvious gender indicated, i thought we are to assume masculine gender?


Read through the entire thread, and I think you will have your answer--but briefly verbs, unlike adjectives, do not match the gender of the the object "liked". since this is an idiomatic construction that only uses the third person the only choice is (me) gusta or me gustan if it might be manzanas for example: (note, not all pronouns are listed--just for example---I tried to put this in table form but DL would have none of it.

I like (me gusta), you like (te gusta) we like (nos gusta) {the} cake (el pastel.

This would not change even if were a feminine thing. such as me gusta la casa It WOULD change it it were plural--but only to add an "n" not for the subject or gender of the thing liked:

I like (me gustaN), you like (te gustaN) we like (nos gustan) {the}apples (las manzanas) Again---the verb form would not change if it were masculine plural such as "olivos" Sorry for taking up so much space but this seems to be endlessly confusing


It's endlessly confusing because thoughtless people refuse to read the thread before posting questions that have been answered dozens of times before.


Me gusta pastel de chocolatebshould be correct.


And why it has to be "el" and not "un"?


Because that means "I like a chocolate cake."


me gusta pastel de chocolate


me gusta pastel de chocolate


me gusta el pastel chocolate


If its el pastel then why me gusto has been marked wrong.


Verbs don't have a gender. Gustar has the same ending for "it pleases" regardless of what the noun is.


Why can't we say "me gusta los pasteles de chocolate"? The preference is toward all chocolate cakes, so it seems adequate to use plural form


I don't know if Duo is going to accept it once you make this change, but if you're going to make the case that multiple cakes please you, you're going to have to conjugate the verb as gustan.


I do like chocolate cake


Why is 'yo me gusta ...' not accepted


This question has been asked and answered several times here. Please review other posts before posting a question that has been answered. Thanks.


Why does it need the article "el"?


I like every chocolate cake... So "un" will be better ;)


I don't quite understand what translation you are claiming should be correct, but the sentence needs to be written as Duo presented. The speaker is not claiming to like a single cake or all cakes. They are claiming to like cake as a general rule. Spanish dictates that you must use 'el' in that case.


Couldn't it also be "me gustan los pasteles de chocolate"?


Pastel is the general word for pastry. Torta is the word for cake except in México.

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