In written Spanish, we sometimes use gustar followed by the preposition "de" to express that someone likes something or doing something. This is a very formal way of expressing likes or dislikes.
Here are some examples:
La señora de la casa gustaba de tratar bien a sus sirvientas.The lady of the house liked treating her servants nicely.
Los vecinos gustaban de reunirse por las noches para charlar.The neighbours liked meeting up at night to have a chat.
As you can see, gustar de can be followed by an infinitive which expresses what one likes doing.
Antonio gusta de la buena comida y frecuenta restaurantes excelentes.Antonio likes good food and he often goes to excellent restaurants.
Mi profesor gusta de obras literarias clásicas.My teacher likes classic literary works.
It can also be followed by a noun to express what someone likes or dislikes.
For nouns, both singular and plural, the article is optional. For example, these would also be correct:
Antonio gusta de buena comida.Antonio likes good food.
Mi profesor gusta de las obras literarias clásicas.My teacher likes classic literary works.
The main difference between this use of gustar de and the colloquial use of gustar is that the formal "gustar de" follows the general order:
"subject + verb + direct object".
The person who likes is the subject.
For example, in the present tense:
Yo gusto de ...
Tú gustas de ...
Él/ella/usted gusta de
Nosotros/-as gustamos de
Vosotros/-as gustáis de
Ellos/ellas/ustedes gustan de
Remember that you cannot omit "de"
However in the "more normal/informal use" of gustar, it works as an inverted order structure. To review this see:
Using gustar + verb to say like [doing something]
Using gustar to say you like something
Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident?
We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your
gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »