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Hey, everyone. I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this vocabulary lesson on talking about work.
In this lesson, we will learn some phrases that we use to talk about work with our friends, family, colleagues, etc.
So, you will see some sentences, as well as some questions that you can use to talk about your job.
So, let's start with some basic questions that people might ask about your work, your job.
For example, the most basic one, if you have a job: "Where do you work?"
Right? Where do you work? Do you work at Microsoft, maybe?
Do you work at Google? Do you work somewhere else?
And, this is a very common question, especially if you don't have, you know, like a set schedule where you work,
you can say: "Hey. When do you start?" Right? If you ask a person:
"When do you start? Do you start at 8 o'clock? 9 o'clock? 10 o'clock?"
This might be a common question, you know, if you're wondering if you can have breakfast with someone or maybe lunch with someone,
depending on if they work in the afternoon, if they work in the morning, etc.
And obviously, you can also ask when a person finishes their job. "When do you finish?" Okay?
Two other ways that we can ask when a person is finished are:
"Hey. When are you off?"
Okay? So, if you say: "When are you off?" you know, you're asking them:
What time do you finish? Same with this:
"When do you get off work?,"
"When do you get off work?,"
"When do you finish work?" All right?
So, again, you can say: "When do you finish?," "When are you off?," "When do you get off work?"
Now, some sentences that we can use. You can say:
"Oh, I work day shift.,"
"I work afternoon shift." or "I work night shift."
Now, a shift is basically the time... The period of time, the block of time of work that you do.
So, if you work in a factory, usually factories, a lot of them are open 24 hours per day.
They have some people who work in the daytime, some people work in the afternoon,
some people work at nighttime. So you can say:
"Oh, I'm on day shift.,"
"I am on afternoon shift.,"
"I am on night shift."
Instead of saying, you know: "I work day shift, afternoon shift, night shift,"
you can also say: "I'm on days.," "I'm on afternoons.," "I'm on nights."
And this can change, depending on how your schedule works.
You can say: "I'm on afternoons this week, but next week I'm on days."
And again, this is important information, depending on who you're talking to,
if they want to get together with you for something, it's important to know.
-"What shift are you on next week?"
-"Next week I'm on nights, so that means that we can get together for dinner before I start work." Okay?
Now, "overtime." "Overtime" is time that you work longer than you are expected to legally work.
So, for example, in most companies... I'm just going to talk about the North American context.
Typically, one week a person is expected to work in most jobs 40 hours per week.
If you work beyond that, you can work overtime. Right? You work overtime.
Or if you work eight hours per day, if you work more than eight hours per day, you work overtime.
So a person, your friends, colleague, family member can ask you:
"Hey. Are you doing overtime tonight?"
Or: "Are you working overtime tonight?"
And short form for overtime: you can also say "OT."
"Are you doing OT tonight?"
You can say: "Yeah, I'm staying OT."
Or: "I'm staying for two hours of OT." for example.
Okay, next: maybe a common sentence for you, maybe not; depends on who you are.
So, for example, here I wrote:
"Jackie called in sick last Friday."
So if you are sick and you call your job to tell them:
"I'm sick. I can't come today." you are calling in sick.
So the phrase is "call in." Okay? You might... Your friend might also tell you:
"Hey. Monday, you know, we're going to have a big party on Sunday night,
so Monday you're going to be very tired. Just call in. Call in."
Or: "Call in sick." Okay?
I'm not recommending this, but it's something people do.
Next: "I need a vacation."
And if you want to say you have been working really hard, one expression you can use is:
"I've been working like a dog." Okay?
You think of a dog like
[pants like a dog] like this,
if you are working very hard, you can say: "I've been working like a dog."
Another more slang-like expression that I'll put here, you can also say (cover your ears, children):
"I've been working my ass off."
I'm sorry, my marker is not working very well here, but I'll do my best.
So you can say: "I have been working my ass off."
Your ass or your butt. You can say: "my butt off" if you want it to be a little more polite. Okay?
Because you're working so hard that I guess your butt starts to sweat or it falls off, maybe. I don't know.
Another common phrase, you know, if you are at a job where you work part time, maybe you're a student,
and maybe there are people with more experience, more seniority than you,
you could say: "I'm not getting enough hours."
This means my employer, the person who gives me the job is not giving me enough work.
So I'm working 10 hours a week, that's it. I need minimum 15 hours, 20 hours,
maybe you want more hours than that to survive as a student or whatever your life situation is.
We'll move over here. Another common phrase:
"Hey. Can you come in early?"
This might be your boss asking you: "Can you come in early?"
If you come in early, you come in before your job is scheduled to start. Okay?
And another way to say: "I worked overtime," you can say:
"Last night, I had to stay late."
So maybe, you know, you are an employee,
you work at a job where you can't finish everything in your eight hours, or nine hours, or whatever you work,
and you have to stay later, later, later - you can tell your friends:
"I had to stay late last night."
Or you tell them today: "Sorry, I can't come dancing," or:
"I can't go to the movie. I have to stay late. I have to work more at my job."
And again, talking about vacation:
"Have you had any time off this year?"
So, you can say: "I need some time off."
Time off is time away from work; you're not really working. Right?
You're taking a vacation, paid, usually. I hope.
And finally: "She took a day off yesterday."
We talked about taking a sick day, being sick.
You can also take a day off because you have a personal emergency, or
you have a schedule with a doctor, or something like that. You can take a day off.
All right, so a lot of vocabulary here.
If you'd like to test your understanding of the structure of these phrases, questions, all of this vocabulary,
as always, you can check out the quiz on
And please don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Don't work too hard. See you, guys.
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English Vocabulary: Talking about WORK

170503 Folder Collection
Flora published on July 16, 2017   陳美瑩 translated   Mandy Lin reviewed
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