How to ask "What do you do?" in Chinese - 20 Questions to Basic Fluency #3

Welcome back to "20 Questions to Basic Fluency."   If you haven't answered the first two questions in the series, take some time to go back and answer when you get a chance.     

 

Today's question is about professions. There are a few different ways to ask about this in Chinese, as well as in English, depending on the information you are looking for.  Here is the most general way to ask, "What do you do?"

  Q:  你是做什么的?
      Nǐ shì zuò shénme de?
      What do you do?

A:  我是老师
      Wǒ shì lǎoshī.
      I am a
teacher.


When you answer, just add your profession at the end of the sentence.  Here are some professions.

 

学生 -Xuéshēng - student

老师-Lǎoshī - teacher

商人 - Shāngrén - business person

秘书 - Mìshū - secretary

会计 - Kuàijì - accounting

记者 - Jìzhě - journalist

厨师 - Chúshī - chef

科学家 - Kēxuéjiā - scientist

医生 - Yīshēng - doctor

护士 - Hùshì - nurse

牙科医生 - Yá kē yīshēng - dentist

工程师 - Gōngchéngshī - engineer 

技术人员 - Jìshù rényuán - tech staff

律师 - Lǜshī - lawyer

音乐家 - Yīnyuè jiā - musician

演员 - Yǎnyuán - actor/actress

艺术家 - Yìshùjiā - artist

 

退休 - Tuìxiū - retired (This answer is a little different.  To say you are retired say:

  我退休了。 Wǒ tuìxiūle.
I'm retired.

 

Of course there are a lot of other jobs out there to talk about.  If you've got a question about how to say a profession in Chinese include it in your reply.  Below are two other common ways to ask about professions with their answers:  

  Q:  你做什么工作?       Nǐ zuò shénme gōngzuò?
      What's your job?

  A:  我是老师。 (same as above)

  Q:  你在哪儿工作?       Nǐ zài nǎ'er gōngzuò?
      Where do you work?



A: 我在学校工作。
    Wǒ zài xuéxiào gōngzuò.
    I work at a school

 

Ok, give it a whirl.  Let us know what you do in the reply below.  If you are beyond the basic level, feel free to add a more descriptive reply about what you do or add some new information. We look forward to hearing what you do!

(photo credit Mart1n)

Views: 1637

Tags: 20, 20 questions basic fluency, basic questions chinese, beginner, chinese, how to ask someone what do you do in chinese, how to ask what's your job, job, questions, what do you do for a living, More…what do you do for work, where do you work in chinese, work

Comment

What do you think? If you would like to comment you can join free

Join Study More Chinese

Comment by Ethan Nelson on February 21, 2013 at 3:40am

你是做什么的?

我现在是学生在大学。

How would I say "I also work part-time"?

Comment by Ruaridh Maxwell/麥儒叡 on June 15, 2012 at 9:22am

我是医学生,在圣安德鲁斯医学院上学。

Comment by Melina Abarca on May 19, 2012 at 8:48am
我 是 学生 。:)
我 在 SYKES 工作。
Comment by Ma Ji Ya on March 5, 2012 at 10:52am

我是英语家庭教师。


Founder
Comment by Brandon on March 5, 2012 at 7:24am

Hey sikora - just fyi, this post got an additional 6 likes when shared on Facebook & this comment added. Keep up the great work.

Tony W. Awesome...Thank you...I am learning some things new to me...:)



Admin
Comment by sikora on March 3, 2012 at 2:31am

Xiao Ke Ai, 太棒了! 加油!

André, I don't know how to include mp3's on the blog here, but you can copy and paste any Chinese characters into Google Translate and listen to them.  The sound quality isn't perfect, but it will give you a good idea of how to pronounce the characters and sentences you need to hear.   

Comment by André Pereira da Silva on March 2, 2012 at 9:42pm

Good. Can you includo sound ? Like .mp3 for hearing how to say ...

Comment by Xiao Ke Ai on March 2, 2012 at 2:41pm

我是学生,救生员还有游泳老师。=)

Comment by Júlia Baló on December 22, 2011 at 8:06am

Nice, thank you :)

Have a beautiful day!

Recommended Resource

Recommended Site

Recommended for characters

Recommended Resource

Recommended e-book

Sponsored Links

Members

Latest Activity

Erica Xu replied to Erica Xu's discussion what are the problems you have when you study Chinese?
"这些你都会了吗?Do you know how to use them?           hùi  and  néng 1. “会”和“能”       gáng cái  and …"
6 hours ago
Erica Xu posted a discussion

what are the problems you have when you study Chinese?

Im a chinese teacher in ZUFE University in Hangzhou, id like to know what are the difficulties learners will meet while they are studying chinese, ill try to explain it to you.  For example:Learning to speak and read is easier?How do we learn to…See More
10 hours ago
Erica Xu replied to Gert-Jan's discussion I need spoken chinese
"Hi is it a university in China? so whats your level now?or how long have you been studying chinese for?"
10 hours ago

Top Member
Thomas Doherty commented on Thomas Doherty's video
Thumbnail

Chinese on the Street - Do you think your girlfriend is beautiful?

"First interview: Zhè shì nǐ de nán péngyǒu mǎ? 这是你的男朋友吗? This is your boyfriend ma ?   [ Chinglish ] Is this your boyfriend ? Answer is shi 是  is  throughout video. Nǐ juédé nǐ…"
12 hours ago

Top Member
Thomas Doherty commented on Thomas Doherty's video
12 hours ago

Top Member
Thomas Doherty commented on Thomas Doherty's video
23 hours ago

Top Member
Thomas Doherty commented on Thomas Doherty's video
Thumbnail

Chinese on the Street - Do you think I'm beautiful?

"May I ask , Do you think I'm beautiful?May I ask , do you think Chinese food is delicious? 请问,你觉得我漂亮吗? 请问,你认为中国菜是好吃的? Qǐngwèn, nǐ juédé wǒ piàoliang ma?Qǐngwèn, nǐ rènwéi zhōngguó…"
yesterday

Top Member
Thomas Doherty replied to Thomas Doherty's discussion How to say "to taste tea" in Chinese - 品茗 "pin ming" in the group Daily Chinese Sentence
"The tea makers in Wuyishan Mountain ( article posted on "the world of chinese" web site ):    http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2014/08/teatopia/      ;  "
yesterday

Get daily Chinese learning updates