To Be + Profession

To Be + Profession

To say your profession or occupation in English you use TO BE.

It is important to put the article A or AN before the profession when we are talking about one person.

To be + a/an + profession

  • I am a teacher.
  • You are a student.
  • He is a pilot.
  • She is an actress.
  • John is an engineer.
  • Susan is a dentist.

If there is more than one person, we do not use A or An.

  • We are teachers.
  • They are students
  • Jack and Jill are engineers.

Compare the following:

  • You are a student.
  • You are students.

The first sentence refers to ONE student… YOU! So we need the article A before the profession/occupation.
The second sentence refers to YOU plural = you + you + you.
Since there is more than one YOU, we don’t use A or AN and the occupation (student) is in plural too.

The Question

To ask about the profession or occupation of someone you ask…

  • What do you do?

(This is the most common way)

Or if it is another person…

What does + person + do?

  • What does John do?
  • What does Susan do?

More examples

  • What do you do? – I am a scientist.
  • What does Mike do? – He is a police officer.
  • What does Angelica do? – She is an engineer.
  • What does your father do? – He is a mechanic.

To Be + Profession Summary Chart

TO BE + Profession in English

What do you do?

Lesson tags: Professions, To Be
Back to: English Course > To Be - Present Tense