His job is a teacher.

Is this expression appropriate? If not, how I could express this?

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Franks V. Maia's answer is 100% correct, but I would like to clarify the problem from the learner's point of view.

The OP's sentence is a typical error which I have heard countless numbers of Italian students make over the years. Although “His job is a teacher” is comprehensible, an English native speaker would simply not say it.

The forgivable error is due to the question,

What's his job?

To which some learners reply automatically,

His job is a teacher.

Instead, the idiomatic and correct reply is

He is a teacher

Alternatively, there are many ways to state somebody's profession.

  1. His job is teaching
  2. His job is to teach (grammatically OK, but can sound dictatorial)
  3. He works as a teacher
  4. He's a teacher by profession
  5. He earns his living as a teacher

You should use the undefined article for positions within a group: an engineer, a teacher, a technician, etc. Therefore, the sentence I am a teacher is correct.

Your profession describes what you do, not what you are. There's a slight difference, which I will try to clarify.

This is what you do: My profession is teaching.

Because: I'm a teacher.

Someone must be "a/an" something. The profession can only describes what someone does.

  • It means the expression “his job is a teacher” is inapproapriate? Or it is not authentic? But from the perspective of grammar, is it right? – Emily Oct 17 '16 at 4:41
  • 1
    @Emily 'Grammar' did not arrive on tablets of stone (and the famous tablets weren't in English anyway). And what is considered acceptable in grammar changes over time. And perhaps worse, grammarians don't even agree totally on what is acceptable at any one point in time. 'Is the grammar right?' is often a virtually unanswerable question in certain grey areas. // Let's say here that 86% of good English teachers would mark it wrong, the rest would caution you about it being probably non-standard, and arguing about a lost mark would be championing a minority stance against trained linguists. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 17 '16 at 10:31
  • "His job is that of a teacher" would be preferable, but the OP didn't write that. – Mari-Lou A Oct 17 '16 at 10:37

You could say his job is that of a teacher. His job is a teacher is clearly incorrect since "teacher" is not a job. It's a position/person.


Instead of saying "His job is a teacher", you could say:

  • "His profession is teaching"
  • "He has the job of a teacher"
  • "His career is teaching"
  • "He teaches for a living"

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