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Talking about occupations


Talking about occupations (jobs)

The following English phrases and expressions are used for talking about occupations.

Aking about occupations

  • What do you do for a living?
  • What do you do to make a living?
  • What company do you work for?
  • What's your job?
  • What's your occupation?
  • What do you do?


  • I am a doctor/teacher/hairdresser...
  • I’m in sales/online digital marketing/public education...
  • I work for a private school/an oil company...
  • I teach for a living...

How to show interest

  • Are you?
  • That's interesting.
  • How interesting!
  • That sounds like a lot of hard work.
  • That must be a lot of work.
  • That must be a rewarding job.

Example of a conversation

This is an example of a conversation where the speakers are talking about occupations

At the bus stop.

After work, two strangers are making a friendly conversation while waiting for the bus.

John: Good morning! We always take the same bus but we’ve never spoken before. My name is John.

Lisa: Hi! I am Lisa.

John: How was your day?

Lisa: So tired. It was a busy day.

John: Excuse me, but what do you do for a living?

Lisa: I am a secretary. I work for a German company.

John: Wow! That sounds like a lot of hard work. I guess you can speak German.

Lisa: Yes I can. How about you? What do you do for a living?

John: I am in digital marketing. Most of my work is done online.

Lisa: That must be interesting.

John: Yes it is indeed.

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