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  1. #1
    Tina3 is offline Member
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    Do do for a living

    What are you doing?
    He wants to know what you are doing. This is correct.




    What do you do for a living?
    He wants to know what you do do for a living. Is this correct too?


    It looks strange! You can help me.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Do do for a living

    Yes. You can even shorten the second question to "what do you do?" in many contexts and be understood.

  3. #3
    Tina3 is offline Member
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    Re: Do do for a living

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Yes. You can even shorten the second question to "what do you do?" in many contexts and be understood.

    He wants to know what you do do for a living.
    So the above is grammatically all right!

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Do do for a living

    Quote Originally Posted by Tina3 View Post
    He wants to know what you do do for a living.
    So the above is grammatically all right!
    My sentence is correct. Yours is not. You can't say "do do for a living."

    He wants to know what you do for a living. So he asks, "what do you do?"

    The first "do" is a helper verb. The second is the main verb. He could just as easily ask "what do you make?" or "what do you think?"

  5. #5
    Tina3 is offline Member
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    Re: Do do for a living

    I want to know about your job or work.
    What are you doing?
    Is the above fine?

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Do do for a living

    But in her defence 'what you do do for a living' is possible in contexts that call for contrastive stress (rare though such a context may be )
    Code:
    OK. Last week you said you were a fighter pilot. Yesterday you said you were a teacher. Now you say you're a big game hunter.
    Well I've had enough. I'm  not leaving this room until I've found out what you DO do for a living.
    b

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Do do for a living

    Quote Originally Posted by Tina3 View Post
    I want to know about your job or work.
    What are you doing?
    Is the above fine?
    No, that isn't what "what are you doing?" means. As you stated in your original post, it is asking about the activity you are doing right now. Not about your occupation.

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Do do for a living

    To ask about someone's occupation, you can ask:

    - What do you do for a living?
    - What do you do for your job?
    - What do you do for work? (Less common)
    - What is your job?
    - What is your occupation?
    - What do you do?

    Informally:

    - How do you earn a crust?
    - What do you do to pay the bills?

    We do not ask (in this context):

    What are you doing?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Do do for a living



    N: What do you do?
    Me: I'm a semi-retired self-employed polymath.

    N: What are you doing?
    Me: Procrastinating

    b

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Do do for a living

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I'm a semi-retired self-employed polymath.
    I think I may steal that. Thank you.

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