Spanish from Scratch

Spanish from Scratch 2

Learn how to ask people about their interests, and say what you like and don’t like!
Lis Salinas

Lis Salinas







Hello everyone, and welcome to our second beginners from scratch episode, on Spanish Obsessed. From me, Rob, “hola”, and from Lis:
Today, we’ll teach you how to talk about your interests. As in the previous podcast, we’ll have a little conversation, and then give you time to repeat and learn, and then we’ll break down the language we used, giving you bite-sized pieces of grammar, vocab, and phrases. As always, don’t forget to check out all of our accompanying materials on So in today’s conversation, Rob and Lis are talking about their interests. Hola Lis, ¿qué más?
 Hola Rob, muy bien gracias, y tú, ¿cómo estás?
Super, gracias!
 Rob, ¿qué te gusta hacer en el tiempo libre?
Me gusta ver la tele, también me gusta correr. Y a ti, ¿qué te gusta?
 A mi me gusta el sol, y me gusta la comida buena también. Pero no me gusta la lluvia.
Y a mi no me gusta mucho trabajar, pero bueno! [REPEATS]
Ok, in our first new phrase, Lis said
 Rob, ¿qué te gusta hacer en el tiempo libre?
So the question is ¿qué te gusta hacer en el tiempo libre?, which means “what do you like to do in your free time?”. So “¿qué te gusta?” this means “what do you like?”, “hacer”, “to do”, “en el tiempo libre”. The grammar here is quite complex, so we won’t touch on that just yet, but it’s a great phrase to memorise, and then when you’re ready for it the grammar will be very easy. And in the next phrase, I said “me gusta ver la tele, también me gusta correr. Y a ti, ¿qué te gusta?”. So, “me gusta” means “I like”, and it’s very easy when you read this to say me [English pronunciation] gusta, but that’s wrong. In this case, you use the “eh” sound, me gusta. So “me gusta”, “I like”. And as in English, what do you like? I like to read, I like to watch tv, I like to run, what follows is called the infinitive verb, so that’s the verb plus “to”, I like to run, I like to read. It’s exactly the same in Spanish, so you have to follow “me gusta” with the inifinitive. And in this case I said “me gusta ver la tele”. “Ver”, is “to watch”, “me gusta ver la tele”, “la tele” – “TV”, it’s a bit of a slang, it’s an abbreviation from “la televisión”, but you can say “la tele”. Is that right?
 Yeah, la tele.
So the infinitive is a really important part of grammar in Spanish. In English, as I said, the infinitive is when you have “to” in front of the verb, so “to watch”, “to read”, in Spanish, it’s the full form of the verb, and you’ve got three types. You’ve got AR, so verbs ending in AR, for example “trabajar”, which means “to work”. How do you say it?
Trabajar – AR. You’ve got verbs ending in ER, so for example, [correr: To run]
Thank you. So, when you say “me gusta”, you just stick the infinitive on the end of that, so “me gusta trabjar”, “I like to work”, not many people would say that, “me gusta correr”, “I like to run”, or what else?
 Me gusta cantar
Yes, I like to sing. So I said “me gusta ver la tele”, “I like to watch TV”, “también, me gusta correr”. “También” means “also”, “me gusta correr”, so we looked at that one – “correr”, “to run” – “me gusta correr”, “I like to run”. And then I said, “y a ti, ¿qué te gusta?”. So when you ask someone else what they like, you say “¿qué te gusta?”, and Lis said:
 A mi, me gusta el sol, y me gusta la comida buena también, pero no me gusta la lluvia.
So, after “I like” you can have a verb in the infinitive, or you can like an object as well, so “I like food”, “I like DVDs”, whatever. In this case, Lis said “a mi, me gusta el sol” – “el sol” – the sun, “y me gusta la comida buena”. “La comida buena” is “good food”. “También, pero no me gusta la lluvia”. And if you remember in the first podcast we said that to make a negative all you do is stick “no” in front of the verb. So Lis said:
 Pero, no me gusta la lluvia
“But, I don’t like the rain”. And then finally, I said “y a mi, no me gusta mucho trabajar, pero bueno”. So, “no me gusta mucho” means “I don’t like very much”. “Mucho” means “much”. “Me gusta mucho” – “I like very much, I like a lot”, but “no me gusta mucho” means “I don’t like very much”. And finally, I said “pero bueno”. And this is one of my favourite Spanish phrases, it’s something that Spanish people all around the world use all the time as a kind of filler. It’s when you can’t think of anything else to say, you say “pero bueno”, which means in English “Oh well”. “No me gusta trabajar, pero bueno” – “I don’t like to work, but oh well!”. Do you use “pero bueno” a lot?
 Yes, we use, we use sometimes.
OK, and we’ve got some additional cool phrases which all the cool kids use and you can use these to impress all of your Spanish mates. So what’s the first one Lis?
 “Me mola”
Now this is something which is actually used in Spain. Lis is Colombian, and I’ve said this before and she didn’t understand me! So make sure that you’re in Spain when you say “me mola”, which means “I really like something, I think it’s very cool”. So, have you seen the latest movie? “Sí, me mola” – “yeah, I love it!” And then another one:
 Me chifla
And is this something you use?
 I understand what it means, but I don’t use it normally
OK, so another one more from Spain than South America. “Me chifla”, which is similar to “mola”, something’s really cool for me. “Me chifla”.
 And my favourite one. “Me encanta”
So “me encanta” is when you really like something. “Encantar” is the verb, and that means “to charm, to be enchanted by”. So if something enchants me, if I really love it, “me encanta”. Or if it’s someone else, you’d say “te encanta”. So as always, don’t forget to check out our accompanying materials below this podcast. So from Rob, “gracias, y hasta luego”, and from Lis:
 Muchas gracias, y adiós.

Review Notes



¿Qué te gusta hacer en el tiempo libre?

What do you like to do in your free time?


Me gusta…

I like…

You can follow this with a verb in the infinitive (e.g. me gusta correr: I like to run)

No me gusta…

I don’t like…


Ver la tele

To watch TV

Tele, short for televisión


To run

Regular -ER ending verb




El sol

The sun


La lluvia

The rain


La comida buena

Good food



To work

Regular -AR ending veb

Pero bueno!

But oh well!

Good conversation filler! Can often be used to finish phrases.


To watch



To live

Regular -IR ending verb

Me mola

I love it

Used in Spain

Me chifla

I really like it

Used in Spain

Me encanta

I love it

Used throughout Spanish speaking world