Go to the homepage of this German Course Chapter 2: Talking about yourself University of Portsmouth
2.9 Conversation: Der Beruf

The teacher and the greengrocer
Whilst waiting at the bus-stop, Müslüm Can and Mareike Herda (pictured below standing with her pupils, at the back on the right) discuss the jobs to which they are travelling.

Mareike Herda and her class

Müslüm Can Was sind Sie eigentlich von Beruf, Frau Herda?
Mareike Herda Von Beruf bin ich Lehrerin.
Müslüm Can Ach nein! Mein Bruder ist auch Lehrer.
Mareike Herda Das gibt's doch gar nicht! Wo arbeitet er? Hier in Berlin?
Müslüm Can Nein, nein. Er ist Deutschlehrer in der Türkei. Wir sind beide in der Türkei geboren.
Mareike Herda Und was sind Sie von Beruf?
Müslüm Can Ich bin Gemüsehändler.
Mareike Herda Arbeiten Sie hier in der Stadt?
Müslüm Can Ja. Ich arbeite in einem kleinen Gemüseladen in der Nähe von hier.

Müslüm Can

eigentlich  actually; in fact 
von Beruf bin ich...  Switching the word order around such that "von Beruf" comes first places slightly more emphasis on the profession.
Ach nein!  Literally "Oh no!", but the sense is one of surprise: "Really?!" 
mein Bruder  my brother
auch  "too; also". Not to be confused with the German word "also" meaning "therefore" (see below).
also  Be very careful of this word in German! It doesn't mean English "also" but "therefore" or "so".
Das gibt's doch gar nicht! "Well I never! You don't say!". A polite expression of great surprise.
Wo arbeitet er?  "Where does he work?". There is no German equivalent of the English word "does". "Er arbeitet" is the sole German translation for "he works", "he is working" and "he does work".
Deutschlehrer  "German teacher". Note that this is written as one word in German.
Wir sind ... geboren  We were born ....
wir beide  both of us
der Gemüsehändler  greengrocer
in der Stadt in the city
in einem kleinen Gemüseladen  in a little greengrocer's shop
in der Nähe von hier  near here

Test yourself!
Test how well you have understood this passage by doing this gap-filling exercise. All of the missing words were spoken by Müslüm and Mareike in this passage!

Present tense of the verb "arbeiten"
We have met a new verb in this section - "arbeiten" (= "to work"). Although it is a regular verb, some of the endings are slightly different as the stem of the verb ends in "t". To prevent a build-up of unpronouncable and teeth-damaging consonants, an extra "-e" is added before the "du", "er/sie" and "ihr" endings.

ich arbeite I work
du arbeitest
Sie arbeiten
You work
er/sie/es arbeitet He/she/it works
wir arbeiten We work
ihr arbeitet
Sie arbeiten
You work
sie arbeiten They work

Weiter!Chapter 2.10: Background - About Germany

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