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Lesson 033 Occupation

07-08-2010 15:30 BJT

Yajie: 大家早上好. Perfect Chinese your way in only 5 minutes a day.  This is Chinese Studio.  I’m Yajie. 
Cam: 早上好. 我是Cam. Yajie, we learned about introductions earlier, but I still don’t know how to ask what somebody does for a living?  Can we learn how to ask one’s occupation today? 
Yajie: Sure. Let’s check Key Words of the Day. 

************Key words of the day
Today we’ll learn how to ask one’s occupation. 做, to do. 工作, job. 医生, doctor. 老师, teacher. All in today’s Chinese Studio. 

Yajie: 他做什么工作?What’s his job?
Cam: 他做什么工作?(tā zuò shénme gōngzuò?)
Yajie: 他. T-a, the first tone. 他  T-a is the word used to mean male or female.  So this could also mean what’s her job?
Cam: 他 (tā). And 我(wǒ) is I.
Yajie: 做, means to do. Z-u-o, the fourth tone. 做.
Cam: 做 (zuò).
Yajie: 什么,
Cam: 什么(shénme). We learned that earlier. That means "what"
Yajie: Right. And now we come to the word job, which means工作, . 工, g-o-n-g, the first tone, and 作, z-u-o, the fourth tone.
Cam: 工作 (gōngzuò).
Yajie: 他做什么工作?What’s his job?
Cam: 他做什么工作?(tā zuò shénme gōngzuò?)

Conversations (1)

Cam:  So how would I answer the question then.  For example, how would I say "He is a teacher."?
Yajie:  You would say ta shi laoshi. There is “是”  in this sentence, “是”. The usage of “是 ” is similar to the verb “be” in English.
Cam: 是 (shi). OK. I see.
Yajie: 医生, is doctor.
Cam: 医生 (yisheng).
Yajie: 老师(laoshi) is teacher.
Cam: 老师(lǎoshī).

Conversations (2)

Yajie: Also if you want to ask “are you busy at work”, you can say “你工作忙吗?”
Cam: “你工作忙吗?”(ni gongzuo mang ma?)
Yajie: 忙, m-a-n-g, the second tone, means busy.
Cam: 忙 (máng).
Yajie: If you are busy, you can say “忙”.
Cam: 忙 (máng). Just one word? Seems easy.
Yajie: Definitely. If not, you can add the word “不” to express the negative meaning. 不忙 (bu mang).
Cam: 不忙 (bù máng).
Yajie: Cam, last time we learned a word meaning “very” in English. Do you still remember that?
Cam: Yes. It’s 很 (hen). The third tone. And if the answer was “very busy”, I could say 很忙 (hen mang). Right?
Yajie: Yes, you are right. If you are very busy, you can say 很忙(hěn máng).
Cam: 很忙(hěn máng).

Conversations (3)

**********Key words Reminder
Today we learned how to ask one’s occupation. 做, to do. 工作, job. 他做什么工作?What’s his job? 医生, doctor. 他是医生。He’s a doctor. 老师, teacher. 他是老师。He’s a teacher.

Yajie: Class is over for today. Don’t forget you can win a gift by answering the question of the day in Chinese: What’s his job?
Cam: You can send us questions or comments to  That’s  Or you can visit us on our website at Click learn Chinese. You can enjoy other free Chinese-learning programs there.
Yajie: Bye for now!
Cam: 再见!

Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source: CRI

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