Question about a sentence from Clitics
Here is a sentence from the Clitics sections: "A mis padres les gusta la cerveza.".
How is that different from saying: "Mis padres gustan cervesa". ?
Does one mean something different?
Gustar is a special verb. 'I like beer' is 'me gusta la cerveza'. If you like a plural noun e.g. 'gatos' (cats) you say 'me gustan los gatos'. It is like saying 'beer pleases me / cats please me' . The example about 'my parents like beer' is harder than the examples I've given but I'm afraid you cannot say "Mis padres gustan cervesa". I don't know how Duolingo expect you to figure this out.
You can say that, but it means "My parents want beer", not "My parents like beer." "Gustarse" is an extremely common verb, and you will need to come to terms with the fact that its grammar is different from the grammar of its usual translation, "like". Les gusta la cerveza: beer is liked by them, hence they like beer A mis padres les gusta la cerveza: "A mis padres" is just spelling out the meaning of the indirect object "les", explaining that "by them" means "by my parents".
Actually, maryjack's translations using "please" are probably better, since they don't introduce the extra confusion of the passive voice which I used in my translations. les gusta la cerveza = beer pleases them (note that "la cerveza", although it comes after the verb in this sentence, is the subject of the verb, and "les" = "them" is the direct object, not the indirect object, as I said above. "Them" only becomes an indirect object in the translation with a passive voice verb which I gave.)