Here is the question:

"When do you work?"

Which of the following answers are possible:

  1. I work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  2. I work from 2 to 7.
  3. I work twice a week from 2 to 7.

I'm not sure if "when" can be used for asking about "days" or how often we do something.


"When" can be interpreted as meaning "what days?", "what times?", or both. Usually context hints at which meaning is intended, but sometimes it can be ambiguous too.

B: There's been a lot going on at work lately, I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed.

A: We should find an afternoon to meet and talk about it. When do you work?

B: I work Tuesday through Saturday, but I'm free on Sunday and Monday.


A: I'll need to call you tomorrow. When do you work?

B: I work from 2 to 7.

A: Okay, I'll call you in the morning then.

To be explicit about which answer you're expecting, you can indeed ask "What days do you work?" or "What hours do you work?" Both are natural questions to ask.

I can't really think of a case where "when" asks about frequency, however. Saying "I work twice a week" doesn't answer when you work. If you want to know that, you can ask, "How many days a week do you work?"

  • I don't find We should find an afternoon to meet. When do you work? particularly felicitous. Nov 7 '16 at 19:21
  • @AlanCarmack Perhaps. I feel like I would normally ask when people work as an indirect way to ask when they are free, but that would only really make sense if the work had already been a subject of conversation. I added a bit of context to maybe make it seem more natural.
    – cbh
    Nov 7 '16 at 19:37


is a general time question and without additional context could mean any measurement of time.

Q: When do you work?
A: I work from 9 to 5.
A: I work 40 hours a week.
A: Too much!

Usually if something more specific is desired, additional context is added

What days do you work?
What hours are you in the office?
What time do you finish work?

If there is a known context e.g. someone has a house in the country

Q: When do you go to your country house?
A: We go every weekend.

would answer the frequency of being in the country.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.