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  1. #1

    phrase "for a living"

    I am curious why there is an article "a" in front of "living"

    What would be the difference between "for living"
    And is "living" in this case a noun or a verb?


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810

    Re: phrase "for a living"

    The indefinate article is always found with such an expression.

    The original meaning is lost if for is removed.

    What do you do for living X

    Living appears to be a noun due to it having an article and being an object of a prepostion (preposition objects are often noun phrases).

    This (below) information confirms that it is, in fact, considered a noun.


    noun [C]
    1 the money that you earn from your job:
    What do you do for a living (= What is your job)?
    I mean, I don't like my job but at least it's a living (= a way of earning money).
    You can make a good living (= earn a lot of money) in sales if you have the right attitude.
    See also livelihood.

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

    I am not a teacher.

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