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Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Ask About English!!! Q11: 'job'

Hello!

How is it better to ask about one's job? In high school we were taught to ask: 'What are you?', – but some days ago my pen-pal from the USA told me that this phrase sounded impolite. What's better to use then?

Thanks.

Hi,

I agree that "What are you?" sounds impoilite, as well as being too general a question. As people, we "are" all many things:

"I am a human, I am thirty-one years old, I am tired, etc.. "

The most common way to ask about someone's job in English is with the question:

"What do you do?"
(this is best when you don't know if the person studies or works)

or also:
"What's your job?"

I hope this answers your question.

Thanks

Matt

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