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What Do You Do - Meaning and Answers

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What Do You Do

 “What do you do?” may sound like a strange question to ask someone.  However, it’s very common for native English speakers to ask this question when first meeting someone, catching up with an old friend or getting to know someone for the first time.  

It’s a polite question that starts a conversation and gives you something to talk about.  English speakers usually make small talk with people they’ve just met and ‘what do you do?’ is a great way to start small talk.  In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the meaning of “what do you do?” and how to answer it.

 

What Do You Do Meaning?

“What do you do?” is a polite way to ask someone what their job is or what they do to earn a living.  It’s short for “what do you do for a living?”  It’s considered polite because not everyone has a job, so asking someone “what’s your job?” could lead to a dead-end in a conversation and it can be awkward to answer if the person doesn’t have a job.  

 

For example:

“What’s your job?”

“Oh, I don’t work.”

 

Compared with:

“What do you do?”

“I’m between jobs at the moment, but I’m a nurse.  What about you?”

 

The second example gives the person answering the question more space to talk about themselves, their passions, what they do and what they would love to do.  The first example didn’t take the conversation very far.  It’s awkward and there are no follow-up questions that the person asking the question can ask to keep the conversation going.  

 

So, the next time you meet someone ask ‘what do you do?’ instead of ‘what is your job?’ and the conversation should develop into something interesting.

 

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English-Everyday is an English course with live lessons for English learners who want to improve their English with native speakers, professional teachers, and students from around the world

 

You have live lessons where you can join every day. You can review all record lessons. There is a calendar of scheduled lessons so you can see when lessons are and at what time you can join.

 

In English Everyday program, you have support and also you have student chat where you can speak with other students from all around the world. You can look at our feedback page so that you can know from which countries our students are. Before you join our program, we strongly recommend you sign up for our free seminar with Kris Amerikos, where you can learn:

 

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  • The 3 biggest mistakes you need to avoid
  • Which free resources will help you learn English
  • The best resource to use to improve your speaking

 

What Do U Do

It’s common for English speakers to use ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ when texting friends.  The letter ‘u’ and the word ‘you’ have the same sound, so native English speakers shorten their text messages by typing ‘u’ instead of writing ‘you.’  This is only acceptable when texting informally with friends.  In every other situation, we must use ‘you’ instead of ‘u.’

 

What Do You Do Answers in English 

This is an opportunity to share the most interesting points about your job and work life.  The person asking ‘what do you do?’ wants to know what an average day in your life looks like and what makes your job exciting.  It’s considered small talk and is intended as an opportunity to get to know a bit more about each other.

You can answer ‘how do you do?’ in several ways:

  • Talk about your job and what you do day to day;
  • Talk about your job and what you would like about it;
  • Talk about your passions and why you love your job;
  • If you don’t like your job, briefly mention your job and then talk about what you’d prefer to do;
  • If you don’t like your job, try not to bring the other person down by speaking negatively;
  • Talk about the aspects of your job that are relatable - don’t ramble on about the technical side that most people won’t understand;
  • Talk about your achievements at work;
  • Don’t talk about the boring stuff;
  • Keep it light-hearted and entertaining;
  • Talk about where you started and where you are now;
  • And, most importantly, don’t forget to ask the question to whomever you are speaking with.

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  • Master pronunciation by¬†regular speaking practice with partners.
  • Topics that will help you in real life.
  • Speak and BE UNDERSTOOD by people around the world.
  • BONUS: 24/7 live room
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Learn more about English-Everyday

HANDS-ON MASTERMIND PROGRAM

Level Up Mastermind

How To Think In English

✅ Two Mastermind Calls Per Week: We run two learning calls per week that are approximately 1 hour each.

✅ Spotlight Seat Calls: The spotlight seats are where you can bring any problem, question, presentation, email, or other problem to the table and we'll help you solve it.

✅ Theory Calls: The theory calls are where we go in depth about everything related to how to think to improve your English and we break it down into the details of how things work, why they work, and how you can use it yourself by giving you a deeper understanding.

✅  Level Up Slack: This is the soul of Level Up. We have a private workspace where you can get help with anything in between the calls and also connect with everyone else.

✅ Level Up Community: A private wall for posts and a private group chat for Level Up members only.

✅ Everything inside English-Everyday: daily live speaking lessons, 24/7 live room, group chat.

Learn more about Level Up

Individual, Private Lessons

Personalized Focus on Your English Needs

  • Each lesson is 60 minutes long.
  • Individual communication
  • Personal feedback and error correction
  • Work on presentation, emails, work projects, or personal goals.
  • More practice, faster results
  • Every lesson is focused on your specific needs.
  • Choose the best date and time for you.
Learn more about 1:1 lessons

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