My school teacher asked me what I do every day in my job.
I told my teacher that I am an assistant of a Japanese chef. I have to help her chop vegetables, buy the food, and sometimes read the orders for her.

After work hours, she usually teaches me how to cook Chinese and Thai food. Referring to my description, can I tell the same answer to people when they ask:

  1. What do you do every day in your job?

  2. What is your job nature?

  3. What is your job characteristic?

  4. What is your job duty?

Or can't I tell the same answer, because some of the sentences have a different meaning?

3 Answers 3


Sentences 2-4 would normally be phrased differently. I would ask:

  1. "What is the nature of your job?"
  2. "What are the characteristics of your job?"
  3. "What duties does your job entail?" OR "What are your duties?" (with 'job' being implied')

Of these, #4 is pretty much synonymous with "What do you do every day in your job?" - both are asking for the sort of general, daily activities that make up the job. #2 is slightly different - it asks for a general description of the job itself, rather than examples of specific tasks. #3 is different again - it asks about specific facts, but about the job, rather than the tasks it entails.

Example: If asked 'What is the nature of your job?', I would say that I do website development, and that it mostly involves sitting at a computer. If asked for the characteristics of my job, I would say that it involves working for X hours most days, that I get paid according to Y metric, and that I work in a team of Z people. If asked about my duties, I would mention things like doing design, writing code, maintaining servers, etc.

  • Hi MrTheWalrus. I am not sure what a Y metric is. Do you mean the pay rate stipulated in the job contract?
    – kitty
    Sep 28, 2015 at 19:20
  • 1
    @kitty I was using 'Y' as a placeholder (as with X and Z) - I don't have a specific metric in mind to fill in there, but if I were answering the question, it's the sort of information I'd include. Sep 28, 2015 at 19:38

2 and 3 are the closest in meaning. In one sense the questions are all very similar; in another sense they do individually focus on slightly different parts of the job description.

I think nearly all people would find the questions to be essentially identical. A person tuned the differences in the questions would probably give you entirely distinct answers to each of the four questions yet if you actually asked that person all four sequentially he/she would probably find it tedious and wonder what you were trying to accomplish by asking the same questions so many different ways.

Below are more natural ways you would hear these questions without changing too much of your wording though it's probably true that MrTheWalrus's modifications to your questions are the way you'd likely hear them:

  1. What is your job's nature?

  2. What are your job's characteristics?

  3. What are your job duties?


If somebody told you about what their job is and you still need further information, you can simply ask:

What is it that you do?

For instance:

A: What is your job?

B: I am a genetic engineer.

A: What is it that you do?

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