How to talk about your job in English: 10 Key Verbs

I will teach you ten common English verbs to talk about jobs and the workplace. You will learn the meaning, spelling, pronunciation, and grammar of the following words: hire, earn, pay, fire, quit, lay off, resign, retire, promote, and demote. You will also see examples of how these words are used. One of the most common topics of conversation is work. Whether you love or hate your job, you probably talk about it frequently, so you need to learn how to use these words. After watching the video, take my quiz to practice the new words you have learned, at

NEXT, watch the rest of the videos in my JOB SKILL series:


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video, we are going to teach you 10 verbs that you can use when you’re talking about work and jobs—okay?—and careers. So these are 10 very important verbs that you will hear a lot in movies, and on TV shows, and maybe even your professional life. Okay? So, let’s get started.
So, for each of these verbs, I’m going to tell you what they mean; I’m going to tell you the grammar of the verb, because that’s also very important; and I am going to talk about pronunciation, so: “How do we say it?”; and spelling. Each of these parts, so meaning, grammar, pronunciation, and smell… Spelling; not smelling. Spelling can really help you remember these verbs better. Okay?
So, my first verb: “to be hired”. What does it mean: “to be hired”? Well, this is a very good meaning; this is something very exciting. When you are hired, it means you get a job. Okay? So, it’s: You’ve given your resume to a company, you’ve done the interview, and guess what? You are hired. Okay? That means: “You’ve gotten the job! Well done.” So, I’ve drawn a smiley face here, because this is very exciting.
So, let’s look at an example of the verb “hired”. A long time ago, when I was a lot younger: “I was hired by Blockbuster.” Okay? So, a company, I don’t know if it still exists, but: “I was hired by Blockbuster.” Okay? So you’ll notice something about this verb. We have here the subject, which is “I” – “Emma”, and we have the verb “hired”, but you might also notice this word “was”. “I was hired”. This means that this verb is in what’s called the passive tense. Okay? So, when we’re talking about maybe our friends or our family, or people we know who got a job, we will say: “My friend was hired by”, and the company. Or, you know: “I was hired by this company.” Okay?
Now, this is a bit different. So this is in the passive and it’s very important to remember the word “was”. We have here our… Our same verb: “hired”, but in this case it’s in the active tense. And if you don’t know what I mean by passive or active, that’s okay, because we have a video on that which will help explain that; but the point here is that: Usually when you use “hired”, you usually have a “was” in front of it or a “were”, depending on if you’re saying: “he”, “she”, “we”, “they”. We usually have it like this.
If you’re talking about a company or the boss of a company—a manager—and we’re talking about their role and that they want to employ someone, in this case we would use the active, which is this sentence: “The manager hired John.” Okay? And so you’ll notice here… I could also say: “Blockbuster hired me.” You know, if I was a famous actress, I could say: “Universal Studios hired me for their next movie.” Not true, but just an example. So, the key here is there’s no “was” or “were” in the active form. But for you, you will probably be mainly using the first form – the passive form. Okay? And if you have questions about this, you can watch our videos on passive and active tenses.
So: “I was hired by Blockbuster.” How do I pronounce this word? Well, the first thing is: It is two syllables. So, we say: “hi-er”. Okay? So I want you to repeat after me: “hi-er”. Okay. And so it’s kind of like the word: “hi”, “er”. And in terms of the spelling… One of the great things with verbs that have to do with jobs is a lot of them are spelt very similarly; they have very close spellings. So, for example, we have here: “hire”. There’s another job verb that we’ll be talking about soon that does not mean the same thing, but it also has “ire”. Can you guess what that word is? “Fire”. Okay? “Fire” rhymes with “hire”; they both have similar spelling… Spellings. And we also have another word: “retire”. Okay? So, “i-r-e” you’ll see are very common with job verbs.
All right, so let’s look at another verb: “to earn”. Okay? This is a great verb: “to earn”. It means to make money. Okay? So you’ve gotten the job, you have been hired, so what happens now? The best part: You start to make money. You earn money. Okay? So, I’ve drawn a happy face here because this is also a very good thing about jobs. […]


How to talk about a topic intelligently Want to discuss a topic intelligently in English? Learn how to present your argument in three different ways. Improve your conversational and written skills in personal, professional, and academic life.


Hi. My name is Rebecca, and in today’s lesson, I’m going to show you how to discuss or how to start discussing any subject intelligently. Now, when we start to discuss anything, you want to give the listener a frame of reference. We want to give the listener an idea what we’re talking about. So the expressions that I’m going to show you will do just that; they will provide a context to discuss whatever you are talking about. Okay? So let’s look at some of these common expressions.

Okay, so I’ve divided them into three. Okay? I’ve divided them into three areas because they are slightly different in terms of the way they’re structured.

The first one is like this: 「From a political point of view,」 okay? What I’m giving you here is just the introduction. Okay? After this comma, you need to say whatever your opinion is. But this is to give it a context and to tell your listener that you’re going to talk about the political side, the politics of it. Okay? 「From a political point of view,」 – you might say – 「I believe we need a drastic change in the government.」 Okay?

Or: 「From an environmental perspective, I think」, something. Okay? Now, you don’t have to use: 「I believe」, 「I think」, 「I feel」, but you can. All right?

「From a social angle, the people need change.」

「From a psychological standpoint,」 okay? And then you say whatever you need to say.

「From a financial viewpoint,」 all right?

So you see these expressions and words. Right? 「Point of view」, 「perspective」, 「angle」, 「standpoint」, 「viewpoint」. I can assure you that if you start speaking using some of these expressions, your English will be much, much improved and you’ll sound a lot more intellectual as well. Okay? Also in your writing, also in academic writing. If you happen to be in university, you definitely want to use some of these expressions in your writing. Okay?

Another technique you can use is this expression: 「Technically speaking,」 all right? And then you talk about the technology of it.

Or: 「Philosophically speaking,」 or: 「Professionally speaking,」 okay? And again, you can take any topic. All right? And express it in that way. When we say: 「Technically speaking,」 or: 「Philosophically speaking,」 it means when we’re speaking about the philosophy of it. Okay? Or when we’re speaking about it from a professional point of view. Okay? Same idea, different ways of expressing it.

Last one is without: 「speaking」, just saying this word. 「Historically,」 or: 「Spiritually,」 or: 「Educationally,」 or: 「Academically,」 or: 「Personally, I prefer to go to a relaxed movie.」 Okay? Or 「funny movie」, 「I prefer to go to a funny movie rather than a horror movie.」 Okay? So, that’s how you can use the word: 「Personally,」 right? Or: 「Personally speaking,」 right?

So, these are three different ways in which you can discuss anything intelligently or give your opinion on something by providing first a frame of reference for your listener. If you want to have a little more practice in this, please visit our website: You’ll find a quiz on this, as well as videos on many other topics in English. All right? Thanks for watching. Good luck with your English.




For online one to one coaching in English speaking, Personality development and Confidence building write to me at [email protected]


6 ways to talk about a missed situation: "I was going to"

How do you talk about something that you planned to do but didn’t? In this lesson, I will teach you six different ways to explain what happened and what went wrong. You will learn to explain, for example, why you were not able to finish your homework on time or why you were late for work. This will be useful to you just about every day, so don’t miss this opportunity to add some common phrases to your English! After the video, take the quiz at to test your understanding.

Hi. This is Gill at, and today, we have a lesson which was requested by Karim, who left a comment on our website. So, Karim, I hope you’re watching. This is for you. Okay.

So, the subject of the lesson is called: 「Missed Situation」, which means you were going to do something, but something else happened and it stopped you doing what you wanted to do. So, there are different ways of expressing this in English. So I’m going to show you six different ways of talking about this kind of situation. Okay, so we have the first three examples on the board, so let’s have a look.

So: 「I was going to go shopping,」-that was my intention. I have planned to go shopping-「but」-and there’s always a 「but」-「I got a phone call which lasted nearly an hour,」-someone phoned me and I was talking for nearly an hour-「and by the time the call ended」-when I finished the call, a whole hour had gone by-「the shops were all shut.」 The shops had closed, so that meant I could not go shopping. Okay? So I was going to go shopping, but da-da-lum, and by the time the call ended, the shops were all shut. So my plan to go shopping – I couldn’t go. Right? So that’s one way: 「I was going to, but…」 All right?

Another way of saying this is: 「I was all set to」, I had everything arranged. 「I was all set to go on holiday, but then my car broke down,」-something went wrong with my car-「and I had to spend the money on repairs instead.」 Instead of going on holiday. The money I was going to spend on the holiday, I had to spend that money getting the car repaired. Okay. So, again: 「All set to」, 「I was all set to」. Maybe I’d got my suitcase packed, I’d taken time of work, I was ready to go on holiday, but this happened and I had to spend the money on repairs instead. Okay?

Right, and then the third example, this is talking to somebody. You had an intention, but you didn’t do it, and that this is the reason why. 「I would have called you yesterday,」-I would have phoned you yesterday-「but my phone wasn’t working.」 Okay? So: 「I would have」, I was wanting to. I would have, but something stopped me – my phone wasn’t working.

Okay, so that’s three ways of saying what you meant to do and it didn’t happen. We’ll now move on to another three.

Okay, so our next three examples. 「I had every intention of returning the book to the library」, I planned to, I was going to. 「I had every intention of returning the book to the library」, this is a book that you borrow from the library, and if you don’t return it by a certain date, they usually charge you a fee for late returning. So: 「I had every intention of returning the book to the library last week, but」-「but」 again-「I have a friend staying,」-that’s a friend staying with me at my home-「and she’s been reading it.」 So because my friend is reading the book, I can’t return it yet. Okay? So once she’s gone home, I will return it, but not yet. Okay.

Next example: 「I had it all arranged to give my friend a surprise party」, so I had made the arrangements; I had all the plans, I had invited people on a particular date and at a time. It was all arranged. 「I had it all arranged to give my friend a surprise party,」-a party that she didn’t know about-「but then she found out」-she discovered, she found out about my plan, she discovered my plan-「and said she didn’t want one!」 She didn’t want a surprise party. Okay? Some people love surprise parties; some people hate them. So, obviously, this person hates surprise parties.

I once had a surprise party which I didn’t know about, and it was okay. It was a surprise, obviously, but it was okay. Arranged by my husband. And then a few years later he was trying to arrange another one, but when I discovered that he was doing it, I said: 「No, no. I don’t want it this time.」 So if you find out about something, it’s possible you don’t actually want it. But anyway.


Learn about the UK political system & elections

In this lesson I will explain a little about how the UK political system works, and introduce you to some of the vocabulary. You’ll learn about the major parties, local councils, constituencies, and more. So, welcome to the unpredictable world of UK politics! This is a great lesson to help you understand the news, even if you don’t live in the UK. Listening to British news is a great way to practise your English, and understanding what they are talking about will really help! When I made this video in early 2017, I thought that the next UK General Election would not happen until 2020 — how wrong I was! So here is the video, just a few days ahead of a surprise General Election in June 2017.