The Difference Between Work and Job

In some languages, the word for WORK and JOB is the same. However, WORK and JOB have different meanings in English. This confuses some students and it is one of the more common mistakes I hear during my Skype lessons.

What is the difference between WORK and JOB?


For starters, WORK can be used as a verb and a noun.

The verb form means to be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result; do work.

I WORK at / for the local hospital ( Take note of the prepositions)

I’m WORKING on a new project.

I WORK with adult learners

I spent all weekend WORKING in the garden

The noun WORK means activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

I arrived home late after a hard day’s WORK.

I have so much WORK to do.

If I get my WORK done, I’ll come to football training tonight.

The noun form of the word WORK is also used to discuss your place of employment

I’m on the way to WORK

We had a party with some friends from WORK

I’m not allowed to take phone calls while I’m at WORK.



On the other hand, JOB is a noun. It has no verb form.

A job can be described as a paid position of regular employment.

I have a stable nine to five JOB with the government

It’s hard to find a good JOB in this economy.

It can also be described as a specific task or piece of work, especially one that is paid.

I can’t go to the party. I have a couple of JOBS I need to finish before Monday morning

I can’t do the wiring in your house. You’ll have to hire an electrician to do the JOB.


Useful Tip!

The most significant difference between WORK, the noun, and JOB, is that WORK is more general while JOB refers to specific tasks.

Peter got a new job. He was hired as an accountant at his uncle’s law firm. He starts work next week.

Sam is looking for a job.

Sam is looking for work. He said he will do any job that’s available.

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