Foreigner Teaching Tagalog: “Gusto/Ayaw Ko…”

An interesting aspect of Tagalog is that certain actions that are normally expressed through verbs in most Western languages can be replaced by words that are not verbs in the real sense of the word.

One of these is gusto which is the equivalent of the verb “to like”.

So, in order to say “I (or you, he/she etc.) like…”, Filipinos say “gusto ko (mo, niya etc.)….”.


Gusto ng mga Pilipino ng gin” (which is true by the way).

Another way to say it is: “ang mga Pilipino ang may gusto ng gin” (which is still a valid way to say it…as long as gin is available…).

The opposite of gusto or “I like” is ayaw meaning “I don’t like”. You can either say ayaw ko or use the shortened form ayoko.

Well, this is one of those Tagalog pills that sometimes I like to squeeze into this blog.

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