Lesson 24

What do you do? = What do you do for a living? = What's your job?

The long versions of the videos
The short versions for
real beginners are here

Level: Pre-Intermediate
5 People in Uniforms, representing 5 professions: cook or chef, fireman, housekeeper, doctor, and businessman.

Lesson contents:
  • What do they do?
  • The Simple Present for Jobs.
  • Doing vs. Do, as natural as it gets.
  • Review, pronunciation of G & J.
  • Have to and must.
  • Job jargon.
  • One's own (songs).

Always watch the video several times without subtitles first. Train your ears! Your pronunciation will be much better if you follow this simple rule.

Exercises for the main video:
How to do the lessons:
  1. Watch the video without subtitles.
  2. Do all the Exercises.
  3. Come back to this page.
  4. Watch the video with English Subtitles. Use the Pause button. People speak fast!

Problems? See general support or ask your question here.

What do you do for a living? What's your job?

Watch this video, then click on Exercise 1

Same video with Precise Subtitles



I decided to make 2 separate videos for this lesson about jobs. The version on this page, for Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate students, concentrates on a variety of verbs in the Present Simple. For example, the question is usually "What do you do for a living?" and the answer always includes a verb in the present, such as "I direct traffic", to give one of the most simple questions / replies found in the exercises which make up this lesson.

There is also a version for real beginners which is quite short (approx. 2 minutes). The verb structure used in this short version is limited to am, is and are. For example the question is "What's your job?" and the answer "I'm an actor". However the exercises in this lesson use both types of replies, both types of uses of the present tense.

I was thinking of my own beginners when I organized it this way because the objective in some of the courses in our school is to enable our students to talk about themselves, and their their professional lives after a limited number of classroom sessions in our school. This strategy works for my own needs. I just hope that it is also useful for other teachers! In other words, I hope that these limited videos will be useful for teachers looking for beginner job talk.