Basic+ Word of the Day: work

work (noun, verb) past tense: worked LISTEN

People at work

Work is something that you have to do. It can be something that someone pays you to do.

  • He’s looking for work.

Or it can be something difficult that needs a lot of effort.

  • That’s a lot of work for one person!

If you work for someone or for a company, it means that they pay you to do something.

  • She works for a bank.

Work can also mean the ‘place that you work.’

  • I’m at work at the moment.

If something works, it means that it isn’t broken.

  • My phone's old, but it still works.

Did you know?

Today is International Workers’ Day (sometimes called Labor Day). It is held every year on May 1 (May Day) as a celebration for workers and the working classes. May Day is a public holiday in a lot of countries all over the world. However, some countries celebrate Labor Day on a date that is significant to them; in the United States, for example, Labor Day is the first Monday in September.

In pop culture

Do you know the song “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton? In the song, she says that lots of people have to work very hard, and their bosses don’t say thank you for it. The song is called “9 to 5” because lots of people have to work from 9:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening. Listen for these words: “Working 9 to 5. What a way to make a living.” If you make a living, it means that you work and earn money, so you can buy the things that you need.

Related words

Housework is all the things that you have to do at home—for example, cleaning and tidying. “My husband does all the housework.”

There are other meanings of work.

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