“Gustar-Type Verbs” with the Subjunctive

For this activity I had students break into groups 4 and then search for the subjunctive following the triggers (“gustar-type verbs”) that we were looking at in class. So, for example, they searched for examples of the subjunctive after molestar by doing a keyword search for molest*. I had them search for five examples using five different trigger words, and they had to identify the indirect object, verb and subject of each example.

There was a lot of laughter involved with this activity, which I always take as a good sign. Mostly they were laughing at vocabulary that they had never seen before but for which they could still guess the meaning, such as ‘bailarina’. I think that they were excited to see that they could actually understand real Spanish. They also came across some great examples that they had not fully understood but which they thought that they had understood, so this was definitely beneficial. One common example of this was when the subject of a gustar-type verb was a verb phrase that contained multiple singular nouns or a plural noun (This example is not from the corpus: Me molesta recibir cartas). When confronted with these examples they began to ask why molestar was conjugated in the singular instead of the plural, which led to what I believe was a helpful discussion.

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