Quick answer
"De" is a preposition which is often translated as "from", and "en qué trabaja" is a phrase which is often translated as "what he does for a living". Learn more about the difference between "de" and "en qué trabaja" below.
de(
deh
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (used to indicate origin)
a. from
Mis padres vienen de Nicaragua.My parents are from Nicaragua.
2. (used to indicate material)
a. of
Esta mesa está hecha de plástico.This table is made of plastic.
3. (used to express possession)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Te recojo en el coche de mi padre.I'll come get you in my father's car.
¿Esa no es la casa de Susana?Isn't that Susana's house?
4. (used to indicate characteristics)
a. of
La comida era de gran calidad.The food was of great quality.
5. (used to indicate content)
a. of
Andrés siempre llevaba una bolsa de canicas.Andres always carried around a bag of marbles.
6. (with compound nouns)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Voy a comprar otro traje de baño para el verano.I'm going to buy another bathing suit for the summer.
Se usa la palanca de cambios para cambiar las marchas.You use the gear shift to change the gears.
7. (used to indicate time)
a. in
Es mejor trabajar de mañana.It is better to work in the morning.
8. (used to express cause)
a. with
Me sorprendí llorando de pena al pensar en él.I caught myself crying with sorrow when I thought of him.
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
9. (letter)
a. d
¿Dijiste la letra de o te?Did you say the letter d or t?
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en qué trabaja
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (in statements; third person singular)
a. what he does for a living
No sé en qué trabaja, pero creo que estudió derecho.I don't know what he does for a living, but I think he studied law.
b. what she does for a living
Isabel tiene una casa preciosa. Me pregunto en qué trabaja.Isabel has such a beautiful house. I wonder what she does for a living.
2.
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(in statements; second person singular)
a. what you do for a living
Tiene que rellenar uno u otro formulario dependiendo de en qué trabaja.You have to fill in one form or the other depending on what you do for a living.
3. (in questions; third person singular)
a. what does he do for a living
¿En qué trabaja desde que se fue a Nueva York?What does he do for a living since he moved to New York?
b. what does she do for a living
¿En qué trabaja ahora que ya acabó la carrera?What does she do for a living now that she's already finished her degree?
4.
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(in questions; second person singular)
a. what do you do for a living
Si usted estudió criminología, ¿en qué trabaja? ¿Es policía?If you studied criminology, what do you do for a living? Are you a policewoman?
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