Lesson 24

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

Long versions of the videos » The short versions for real beginners are here «

Level: Pre-Intermediate

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 without subtitles first in order to train your ears! It's a good idea to watch several times until you feel the "music", before watching the version with subtitles. Your pronunciation will be much better if you follow this 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?
This is the Pre-Intermediate / Intermediate version used in the exercises. Watch this video, then click on Exercise 1


Same video with Precise Subtitles
Do the exercises after watching the video. Subtitles begin at 04:10.


!You Tube!



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.