Talking about your job: use the right preposition
Want to talk confidently about your job, but you are always confused about which preposition to use? This handy guide shows the usage of the most common prepositions with plenty of examples in the context of work.
1. Ask the right question.
The most common and natural question if we want to ask about somebody’s job is:
What do you do for a living?
= What is your job? Where do you work?
2. Different ways to answer:
I work at/ for (company name)
I work in (place, country or city, department, general area or industry)
I work with (things/people)
I work at QGraphics.
I work for Google.
I work in Geneva.
I work in a/an hospital/school/office/ shop/garage/ factory.
I work in the finance/ marketing/personnel/ human resources/sales/quality control department.
I work in sales/ education/medical research/consulting/ catering.
I work with computers/children with special needs/ artists.
3. Asking about what someone does as part of their work. Depending on what job you have, your answers will be different. Here are some common activities: What do you do in your job?
Talk to customers
Deal with clients
Talk on the phone
Type on a computer
Respond to e-mails/ letters / queries
Look after people
4. Some expressions do not need prepositions. No preposition with these phrases:
Meet/ greet/ serve customers
Answer phone calls/ make phone calls
Prepare / produce / write reports
Attend meetings/ conferences
Clean offices / wash windows
Sell / buy products
Rent office spaces
Drive a car
Need more practice? Go to our “Free resources” section and check out vocabulary exercises on this topic.
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