the verb 'μου αρέσει'

In order to tackle Mount ΜουΑρέσει,
we need to dissect it like a frog in biology class.


We do indeed translate it as I like.
Literally, it means it is pleasing / pleasant to me.
Very very super duper mega word-by-word literally,
it means to me he (or she or it) is pleasing, since
μου = to me
αρέσει = he/she/it* is pleasing.

*-ει is the ending for all three genders so without context we can’t know which one the verb is referring to.

The super literal translation is very important to remember, it's your guide, your compass, your lord and saviour that shows you the way.

~ here's an example sentence in queen's english: I like Juanita.

literally translated:
Juanita is pleasing to me.

super duper mega translated:
all we need to do is reverse the sentence
from: Juanita is pleasing to me.
to: to me is pleasing Juanita.

~ same example sentence in plato's greek:
to me - μου
is pleasing - αρέσει
Juanita - η Χουανίτα              Μου αρέσει η Χουανίτα.

one more time.

I like the dog.
The dog is pleasant to me.
To me is pleasant the dog.

To me - Μου
is pleasant - αρέσει
the dog - ο σκύλος              Μου αρέσει ο σκύλος.


I like a song.
A song is pleasing to me.
To me is pleasing a song.

To me - μου
is pleasing - αρέσει
a song - ένα τραγούδι              Μου αρέσει ένα τραγούδι.

‘Juanita’, ‘the dog’ and ‘the song’ are the ones that are creating / causing / doing the pleasing / pleasantness. This makes them the subjects of the verb αρέσει. And as tradition holds, subjects are in the Nominative Case. (more about cases here)

This is probably what makes μου αρέσει so complicated:
its subject and object are, meaning-wise, reversed.

I love Juanita  → Εγώ αγαπάω τη Χουανίτα.
I know Juanita → Εγώ ξέρω τη Χουανίτα.
I remember Juanita → Εγώ θυμάμαι τη Χουανίτα.

I like Juanita → Μου αρέσει η Χουανίτα.

How does the verb change according to what or who is pleasing?

If we want to say You are pleasing to me (a.k.a 'I like you'),
we'd follow the same process:
You are pleasing to me
To me are pleasing you      μου - to me,   εσύ - you

Since 'you' is the subject of the verb, the one who is doing the action,
we need the 'you' verb ending, which is -εις:
(you) are pleasing - αρέσεις

To me are pleasing you → Μου αρέσεις εσύ = I like yo
And because -εις is already the ending for 'you', so we can omit εσύ from the sentence if we want to. →  Μου αρέσεις.

I like the cats.
The cats are pleasing to me → To me are pleasing the cats
to me - μου
are pleasing - αρέσουν (bc the subject is cats)
cats - οι γάτες

Μου αρέσουν οι γάτες.

How about, I like myself?
Same rules as above.
I am pleasing to me  →  To me am pleasing I

Μου αρέσω (εγώ).

To say ''Ι'' like, we are using μου.
If you like, he likes, we like, we are using these:


to me


to you


to him


to her


to it


to us


to y’all


to them

Τhese are the personal pronouns in the genitive case.
You can αλσο use them with other verbs that have a
‘to you / for you / at you / from you’ meaning:

I am singing to you  →  Σου τραγουδάω
I am talking to her  →  Της μιλάω
She is smiling at it  →  Του χαμογελάει
They are writing to us  →  Μας γράφουν
I buy for you  →  Σου αγοράζω                                  

To form negation, use δεν  before everything:

ΔΕΝ σου αρέσουν οι σκύλοι.
ΔΕΝ μας αρέσει το κρίκετ.
ΔΕΝ μου αρέσει ο Κάρλος.

‘not to me is pleasing Carlos’
makes sense.

Practice makes parfait 🍨, so here are more examples to work with:

◦ She doesn’t like Fernando, she doesen't like Roberto.
◦ We like apples, you like oranges.
◦ Y’all like me, and they don't like me.
◦ It doesn’t like him.
◦ He likes us.
◦ I like children, and the children like the dogs.

The end.

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