I notice an interesting difference between the way we express opinions using the verb gostar in Portuguese and to like in English. Let’s see an example: When I watch a cool video posted by a friend on Facebook, I might write this comment:
Notice that I say this in the past tense. In English, I’d use the present tense:
- “I like it”
- “I love it”
Let’s see a couple more examples. Notice that the Portuguese version uses the verb in the past tense and the English version uses it in the present tense.
My friend wants to buy a new dress for a special occasion. She asks me to come along to help her choose the dress. As she asks my opinion about the different dresses I might say:
“Gostei. Ficou lindo em você.” = I like it. It looks great on you.
“Não gostei muito desse.” = I don’t like this one much.
My friend has been talking about this new singer. She plays one of his songs to see how I like it. I say:
“Adorei. A música é linda.” = I love it. The song is very beautiful.
When expressing your opinion, use the verb gostar in the past tense. For general likes and dislikes (I like chocolate. I don’t like violence.), use the verbs in the present tense.
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