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As you are aware, you've got a lot going on in your life at the moment. Not only exams, but decisions have to be made about the future. So, you're probably used to being asked, "What are you going to do next year?"

As luck would have it, you may also be asked this question in your German speaking exam! In this topic, we are going to look at the vocabulary and structures you need to talk about careers and also about part-time / weekend jobs and how to talk about your plans for the future.

We are going to start with some useful words for jobs. The list could be endless, so here are just a few examples:

If you want to say, "I am a...nurse, carpenter, lawyer, etc." you say:

Ich bin...Krankenpfleger, Zimmermann, Rechtsanwalt, usw.

Note: there is no "ein or eine" in front of the word for the job.

The same is true for other people.

For example:

Mein Vater ist Busfahrer = My father is a bus driver.

Meine Mutter ist Zahnärztin = My mother is a dentist.

One thing to remember is that the word for the job changes according to whether the person doing it is male or female. Quite often, you just stick an - in on the end of the male job to make it feminine, but watch out! Check in a dictionary, if you're not sure.

Here is a list, together with the feminine version, of some jobs:

Masculine: Feminine: English:
Briefträger Briefträgerin postman/postwoman
Bankangestellter Bankangestellte bank employee
Bauer Bäuerin farmer
Bäcker Bäckerin baker
Bauarbeiter Bauarbeiterin building worker
Friseur Friseuse hairdresser
Kaufmann Kauffrau business man / business woman
Lehrer Lehrerin teacher
Ingenieur Ingenieurin engineer
Beamter Beamte civil servant
Rechtsanwalt Rechtsanwältin lawyer
Mechaniker Mechanikerin mechanic
Koch Köchin cook
Krankenpfleger Krankenschwester nurse
Verkäufer Verkäuferin sales assistant
Polizist Polizistin police officer
Schauspieler Schauspielerin actor
Tänzer Tänzerin dancer
Apotheker Apothekerin chemist
Arzt Ärztin doctor
Zahnarzt Zahnärztin dentist
Tierarzt Tierärztin veterinary surgeon
Elektriker Elektrikerin electrician
Maurer Mäuerin bricklayer

To check how well you know the words for jobs, in this exercise, drag and drop five of the blue names onto the corresponding images to label the jobs correctly. Mark your answer to see how well you got on. Be careful! Look at the pictures. Is it a man or a woman?

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Also show these jobs in the list of jobs: Verkäuferin / Tierarzt / Koch / Krankenpflegerin / Polizist / Bäuerin / Apotheker / Mechanikerin

How well can you spell the words for jobs? Here is a short exercise to check some of those spellings!

Type in the correct letter that is missing from each job and then mark your answer.

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To say where someone works we have to think about the word for office, shop, school, etc.

Is it masculine, feminine or neutral?

Der, die or das?

This is essential, as the word for a (ein) will change according to the gender. The reason for this is that when we say where someone works we are using the dative case, and ein changes as follows:

Masculine: Feminine: Neuter:
Nominative: ein eine ein
Dative: einem einer einem

In this exercise, drag the different jobs into the correct spaces with the corresponding image and then mark your answer.

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Here is the list of work places. Use however many you can.

in einer Autowerkstat in a garage
in einer Bank in a bank
auf einem Bauernhof on a farm
auf einer Baustelle on a building site
in einer Fabrik in a factory
in einem Geschäft in a shop
in einem Hotel in a hotel
in einem Krankenhaus in a hospital
bei der Polizei with the police
in einem Restaurant in a restaurant
in einem Salon in a salon
in einer Schule in a school
in einem Studio in a studio

Remember: being able to express opinions will gain you extra marks in your spoken and written work. In the table below, we will look at the sorts of things that can be said about a job. Many of them you can use in other situations, so they are useful to know...

Es ist interessant It is interesting Es ist langweilig It is boring
Es macht Spass It is fun Es macht keinen Spass It isn't fun
Es ist gut bezahlt It is well paid Es ist schlecht bezahlt It is badly paid
Es ist kreativ It is creative Es ist stressig It is stressful
Ich mag die Arbeit I like the work Ich hasse die Arbeit I hate the work
Meine Kollegen sind sehr nett My colleagues are very nice Ich mag die Leute nicht I don't like the people

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