Saturday, 5 April 2014

What Is Your Job Like?

Introduction

This post deals with talking about work, professions or occupations.







SCENARIO


Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a work colleague. You are talking about work, professions or occupations. The other person wants to learn a little more about what you do and says: "what is your job like?".

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and ask you:
¿Cómo es tu trabajo?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
¿Cómo es su trabajo?


OUR TIP

Answering that question should be quite straightforward. You should not need to consider more formal or less formal replies.




Perhaps you want to talk about:
  • Your job/ occupation*.
  • Where you work.
    • Sector
    • Employer/ self-employed
  • Workplace
    • Workplace location
  • Full-time/ part-time work
  • A description of your job.


Here are some examples what you could say:
  • Soy médico* (I am a doctor -if you are a male doctor).
  • Soy médica* (I am a doctor -if you are a female doctor).
  • Soy abogado* (I am a lawyer -if you are a male lawyer);
  • Soy abogada* (I am a lawyer -if you are a female lawyer);
  • Soy enfermero* (I am a nurse -if you are a male nurse);
  • Soy enfermera* (I am a nurse -if you are a female nurse);
  • Soy periodista (I am a journalist -either male or female journalist).
  • Soy dentista (I am a dentist -either male or female dentist).
  • Soy taxista (I am a taxi driver -either male or female taxi driver).
  • Trabajo en la construcción (I work in the building trade).
  • Trabajo en la seguridad social (I work in the National Health Service).
  • Trabajo en un hospital (I work in a hospital).
  • Trabajo en Madrid (I work in Madrid).
  • Trabajo a tiempo parcial (I work part-time).
  • Mi trabajo es gratificante (my work is rewarding).
  • Mi trabajo es interesante (my work is interesting).
  • Mi trabajo conlleva mucha responsabilidad (my work entails a lot of responsibility).
  • Mi trabajo es agotador (my work is exhausting/ very tiring).
  • Mi trabajo es un poco aburrido (my work is a little bit boring)

Notes

Some of these answers require a different wording if you are a male or a female (please see the examples* above).

See further practical examples of describing places/ people/ etc.



Now you should practise answering the question:
¿Cómo es tu trabajo?

*NB See Grammar below

*Grammar-Professions/ Occupations

Person
Number
Occupation
(Examples)
male
one
abogado
male
more than one
abogados
female
one
abogada
female
more than one
abogadas
Profession/ Occupation Agreement


See notes below on Profession/ Occupation agreement


Profession/ Occupation Agreement
In Spanish professions/ occupations words have to agree with the gender and number of the person they refer to.

Professions/ Occupations -Gender
Most Spanish professions/ occupations words have similar but separate words for each of the two genders (for example, abogado/ abogada). However, some have one single form for both male and female (for example, periodista).

Thus when you come to give a person's profession/ occupation, you need to check whether the required word has:
  • One single form for both male and female persons (for example , periodista)
  • Two separate forms (for example, abogado/ abogada).- If the word has two separate forms, then you need to choose the form which matches the gender (male/ female) of the person.

Professions/ Occupations -Number
Spanish professions/ occupations words have also singular and plural* forms. When referring to a single person, the singular form of professions/ occupations words must be used. When referring to more than one person, the plural form of professions/ occupations words must be used.

*NB View posts with details about the plural of Spanish words here.

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