Work; it’s something that we all do, and it often takes up a lot of our time. In this month’s Korean Corner, we will be discussing how to ask someone what job they do and how to share your own!

무슨 일을 해요? [moo-seu-n il-uh-r heh-yo]? Is a polite but to the point way of asking what kind of work someone does. It contains the following pieces of vocabulary:

  • 무슨[moo-seu-n]: Another form of the question word ‘what’, typically translated to ‘what kind of’
  • 일 [il]: Work
  • 해요[heh-yo]: Present tense of the verb ‘to do’

To add the person’s name, you simply add [NAME]씨는 (ssi-noon). For example: A씨는무슨 일을 해요? A, what work do you do?

To answer, you simply respond with [OCCUPATION] + 이에/예요 [ee-eh-yo/ yeah-yo] . 이에 Is used when the last ‘letter’ in the occupation ends in a consonant, whereas 예요 is used if it is a vowel.

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Here is a small list of occupations which you can use:

  • 학생[hak-seng]: Student
  • 선생[san-seng-nim]: Teacher
  • 영어선생[yong-awh san-seng-nim]: English Teacher
  • 의사 [oui-sa]: Doctor
  • 회사원[hui-sa-won]: Office Worker
  • 주부[joo-boo]: Housewife
  • 변호사[pyeon-hoh-sa]: Lawyer
  • 택시 기사[tehk-shi-gi-sa]: Taxi Driver

An example would be: 의사예요. I am a doctor.

Let’s look at the BTS ‘Boy in Luv’ music video, which is set in a school:

What job does it look like BTS do? Let us know in the comments!


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