Spanish expressions: Me gusta…, me encanta…, me llama la atención…

me gusta me encanta me llama la atencion spanish expressions

There are many alternatives to express what you like or love in Spanish. Different from English, you have more than just “two” words. Depending on what you feel, phrases like me gusta, me encanta, me sorprende and me llama la atención can help you express your personal thoughts in different degrees.


Some Spanish students don’t know how to use different phrases to express their tastes or likes because, in English, you always use either “like” or “love”. Let’s take for example McDonald’s slogan “I’m loving it” which translates to “Me encanta”. If you don’t know the differences between the verbs amar and encantar, you probably have translated McDonald’s slogan to “Estoy amandolo”. Consequently, expressing your feelings is important, and doing it in the right way even more. If you want to learn how to use me gusta, me encanta, me sorprende and me llama la atención, keep reading.


How to use me sorprende


Sorprender is a Spanish verb that can have several meanings. When expressing your tastes or likes it’s similar to saying that something has surprised you in a good way. Sometimes, it helps you express an emotional disturbance caused by something unexpected.


When we talk about the phrase me sorprende, we refer to the act and the result of being surprised. As we said, you can also use it to say that something impresses us, draws our attention, and makes us happy. Using this phrase is quite simple. Native speakers generally use me sorprende when they have a strong but short emotion of happiness, excitement or surprise. Let’s see a few examples to get a better idea.


¡Me sorprende que hayan llegado a tiempo! Ahora sí vamos a poder comenzar con buen pie el viaje.

I’m surprised they arrived on time! Now we are going to be able to start the trip on the right foot.


Me sorprende la manera de pensar de tu hija, es muy inteligente.

I’m surprised by your daughter’s way of thinking, she’s very intelligent.


Me sorprende que hayas podido hacerlo, recuerdo cuando de pequeña te daban pánico las alturas, pensé que jamás podrías.

I’m surprised you were able to do it, I remember when you were a little girl you were terrified of heights, I thought you never could.


Using “me sorprende” is common among native speakers. But, its negativo form is also popular and you only need to add “no” before me sorprende. In general, they use it in the following way.


No me sorprende que te ofrecieran ese trabajo en Suiza, eres el mejor en lo que haces.

I’m not surprised you were offered that job in Switzerland, you are the best at what you do.


No me sorprende que quisieras guardar todo esto para ti, siempre fuiste egoísta.

No wonder you wanted to keep all this to yourself, you were always selfish.


How to use me llama la atención


There are two ways you can use the phrase me llama la atención. The first and most common is when you have some interest or curiosity in someone, something, a circumstance, or a situation. In other words, Spanish speakers use me llama la antención when something draws our attention. You can also use it when you want to mention your point of view or thoughts about something. For example,


Me llama la atención que Pedro no haya venido con su esposa a la fiesta de navidad, ellos siempre salen juntos a todas partes.

It strikes me that Pedro has not come with his wife to the Christmas party, they always go everywhere together.


A mi me llama la atención mi compañero de química, su nombre es Gustavo, ¡es muy guapo e inteligente!

My chemistry classmate caught my attention, his name is Gustavo, he is very handsome and intelligent!


Lo que más me llama la atención es su gran capacidad de trabajo a su corta edad.

What most strikes me is his great capacity for work at his young age.


On the other hand, you can also use me llama la atención when a person scolds or rebukes you. For example,


Mi mamá me llamó la atención por no hacer mi tarea.

My mom scolded me for not doing my homework.


El profesor de matemáticas siempre me llama la atención cuando me ve comiendo en sus clases.

The math teacher always gives me a warning when he sees me eating in his classes.


We can even use it in negative sentences, with the negative adverb “no” before the expression. For example,


No me llama la atención ir a ese lugar.

I’m not interested in going to that place


Sometimes, Spanish speakers use “me llama la atención” when they like someone. In that case, there will always be a proper name or a personal pronoun right after the phrase. For example,

Me llama la atención Carla. Es muy linda

Carla calls my attention. she is very pretty


Differences between me gusta and me encanta


You can use the phrase me gusta when you mean that something is to your liking or you like it. When using the phrase with people, it generally means that you feel attracted to someone. You can also use it when you enjoy a moment or situation. Me gusta is similar to the English phrase “I like it”.


Now, on the flip side, me encanta comes from the verb encantar which is intransitive. We can translate this phrase as “I’m lovin’ it” in English, just like McDonald’s slogan. However, some Spanish students get confused sin the exact translation to “I love” is “Yo amo”. When you make use of this expression, you will express that you love something or someone a lot. Also, it can refer to something that captivates you or hooks you too much. For example,


Me gusta tu hermano, pero por favor, no se lo digas.

I like your brother, but please don’t tell him.


¡Me encanta la pasta, diría que es mi comida favorita del mundo!

I love pasta, I’d say it’s my favorite food in the world!


Me gusta tu estilo hoy, está muy clásico.

I like your style today, it’s very classic.


Me encanta lo que has hecho con la decoración de la casa, quedo increible!

I love what you have done with the decoration of the house, it is incredible!


In summary, all of these phrases will help you express what you like. Even though some of them have other uses, you must keep in mind that they are common to express feelings and tastes. On the other side, depending on the degree of your feeling, you could use me llama la atencion and me sorprende when it isn’t a pretty strong feeling. But, when you feel something really deep and strong, you would use Me encanta or me gusta. The highest degree would be “ Amo” which is the exact translation to “I love”. Make use of these expressions whenever necessary they will help you explain your thoughts way better and will help you communicate clearly.


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