Talking about your job in Spanish

Talking about your job in Spanish

Updated May 19, 2023

One of the most common conversation starters in most cultures is asking someone about people’s occupations or professions. With the following tips, you will be able to talk about this topic properly in meaningful and communicative contexts.

Verbs used for jobs

Generally when people talk about work, they use “the verb to be” – “ser” so as to state their jobs:

“Soy policía” – “I am a police”,  “Es ingeniero” – “He is an engineer”, “Ellos(as) son estudiantes” – “They are students” y  “Nosotros(as) somos profesores(as)” – “We are teachers”. In addition to this, there are other verbs like “work” –  “trabajar” and “devote oneself”- “dedicarse” which are also useful, let’s say “She works in a bakery.” – “Ella trabaja en una panadería.” or else “My sister is in business.” – “Mi hermana se dedica a los negocios.”.

Gender for jobs

It is known that In English you do not need to mark the gender of words such as “teacher”, “doctor” or “student”, as they refer to men and women indistinctly. However,  in Spanish these words can be masculine or feminine. To give you an example, “ lawyer” – “abogado (a)” the most common suffixes are the following: -o for masculine and -a for feminine. What is more, when the masculine noun ends in a consonant like -r , we add -a to transform it into feminine. To illustrate, look at this case: “programmer” – “programador/programadora”.

Words that don’t change

There are some words that remain the same. That’s to say, they keep their original form and do not need a suffix to show the gender. The only thing to change is the articles that introduce them. To give you an idea: “the dentist” – “la dentista” or “ el dentista”.

Useful expressions

More often than not when people talk about professions and jobs, they ask questions like “What do you do? ” > “¿A qué te dedicas?”, “ What ‘s your job” > ”¿Cuál es tu profesión?” or else “What do you do?” > “¿Qué haces?”. In addition to this, they could also add information about the place or the company name they work for. To illustrate, if you are an accountant (contador) maybe you could say “I’m an accountant and work for a transnational company.” > “Soy contador y trabajo para una empresa transnacional.”. People might also ask ”What’s your job like?” > “¿Cómo es tu trabajo?” and “¿Qué tal es tu trabajo?”

Now that you know more about jobs, you will be able to start a short conversation and interact with Spanish speakers. Remember that Bright Lingua offers the most dynamic and communicative Spanish lessons that will encourage you to speak Spanish since the very beginning.

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