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A2 German, Sprechen Teil 1, I got the card "Beruf" for Fragen zur Person and accidentally instead of "was bist du von Beruf" I asked this.

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    That sounds like: "Who are you of profession?". You can ask "what is your profession?" with "Was bist du von Beruf?" or "Was ist dein Beruf?" Jan 7, 2019 at 14:40
  • The question might be suitable when we know that the person is a professional double and we want to ask who they are a double of. But that is still a stretch (and if the question is needed, they may not be so good at impersonating after all ;) Jan 8, 2019 at 13:12
  • (+1) Grammatisch falsche Vermutungen berechtigen keinen Downvote. Ich sehe auch nicht, wieso diese Frage off-topic sein soll.
    – c.p.
    Jan 8, 2019 at 14:34

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Wer bist du von Beruf in German sounds like Who is your profession? in English, i.e. wrong.

You can ask:

  • Was ist dein Beruf? or
  • Was bist du von Beruf? (this more or less means: Of what profession are you?),

both meaning What is your profession?.


If you want to be cool (or annoying, depends), you say: Was bimstu vong 1 beruf her? ;-)

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The question word Wer? asks for an entity or kind, typical a name of a person or a named thing, but it may also be a job description as die Köche if the collective of all the cooks at that place is meant.

Wer hat die Suppe versalzen? – Ein verliebter Koch.

In contrary, a Beruf is a profession as such, not a name of someone or something.

Was ist der Beruf des Suppenversalzers? – „Verliebter Koch“.

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    Wenn man das Sprachniveau des Fragestellers berücksichtigt, wären weniger verspielte Beispiele vielleicht angemessener.
    – David Vogt
    Jan 7, 2019 at 12:59
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    Ich versuche, die Beispiele interessant zu halten.
    – Janka
    Jan 7, 2019 at 13:06
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It is wrong. (If you don't try to convey the unlinkely scenario of someone being a different person by profession, for this, 'Wer bist du von Beruf?' would be possible)

Difference between 'What is your profession?' (= Was...) and 'Who are you as a profession?' (= Wer...)

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