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Consider the following situation. Assume that I have two different jobs. Somebody, who knows me and knows my jobs asks me "Where are you?". What can I answer - "I'm at a job" or "I'm at the job"?

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    I would say, "I'm at work," or, "I'm at my job." – J.R. Dec 23 '15 at 19:10
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    "At a job" is more semantically correct, because there isn't just one job, so you are just specifying that it's one of them. (The job would imply there was only one.) But as J.R. and others point out, it's not very idiomatic. "I'm at work" is probably the simplest, best choice. – stangdon Dec 23 '15 at 22:57
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The phrase I'm at a job is common for workers who do not work in one specific building or office (for example, plumbers, electricians, painters, or landscapers). They will use this when they are working at some location, doing something like a repair or installation.

If you don't have a job like that, most native speakers would say something more along these lines:

  • I'm at my job.
  • I'm at work.
  • I'm at the office.
  • I'm at the hospital. (for a nurse, doctor, or even a cook who works in the hospital cafeteria)
  • I'm at the school. (for a cook who works a school cafeteria, or a principal, teacher, etc.)

I think this usually holds whether you happen to hold just one job, or more than one.

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You can't say I'm at the job, because a specific single job has not been identified in the discourse, and your interlocutor wouldn't know which of the two jobs he knows about you mean.

And you wouldn't speak of a job unless you were in an occupation where you repeatedly took on different short-term jobs--in which case you would probably say "I'm on a job".

You could say "I'm at one of my jobs", or you could say "I'm at [EMPLOYER]".

But you'd probably say just "I'm at work."

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  • "I'm on one of my jobs" also makes me think the speaker works somewhere where they get sent out on many different jobs. Maybe you meant "I'm at one of my jobs"? – Kimball Dec 24 '15 at 2:38
  • @Kimball Yes, that's more likely, and I'll make that correction. But note that the multiple-job reading is forbidden by the context OP sets: both he and his interlocutor know that he is holding exactly two jobs. (Though of course they might be two of multiple sequential jobs!) – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 24 '15 at 3:11
  • -1 for the first sentence. One certainly can say I'm at the job before the identity of which job has been established. The discourse includes what comes (or might come) after such a statement as well as before. – GoDucks Dec 24 '15 at 3:35

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