Word Grammar – ‘about’

About

We can use about to mean ‘concerning’

I have heard all about it.
There is nothing we can do about it.
The great thing about her is that she never gives up.

We can use about to mean ‘approximately’. We can also use around for this but about is less formal.

About six hundred people were present.
About half the people agreed.
Come round at about six.

We can use How about and What about to make suggestions.

What about asking Tom?
How about leaving that for the time being?
What about a break?

We can also use What about ( but not How about) for more genuine questions.

What about the workers? Have you thought about them?
What about the dog? What do we do with her?

We use about and on to talk about the subject of a discussion. We use on for more formal situations..

They talked about the bad economic situation.
He gave a lecture on the economy.

About can mean ‘here and there’.

She is always out and about.
He sits about doing nothing.
They go about interviewing the public.

Just about means ‘almost’.

I have just about finished.
I have had just about enough of him and his patronizing tone.
The money we get will just about pay for the new equipment.

Be about to means that something is on the point of happening.

I am about to change jobs.
He is about to give in his resignation.
Please listen carefully. i am about to say something important.

Here are some useful expressions using about

no doubt about

There is no doubt about his ability but he doesn’t work well with other people.

bring about change

We need to bring about change quickly or the company will go bankrupt.

everybody is talking about it

Everybody is talking about the argument they had.

be asked about

I am often asked about how I became so successful.

speak to them about

You need to speak to them about this and make sure they never do it again.

anything I can do about it?

Is there anything I can do about my financial situation?

concerned about

i’m concerned about Simon. He is acting very strangely.

speculate about

We can only speculate about what happened. We will never know for sure.

about to change

I am not happy with what has been happening. I must warn you that things are about to change around here.

know a lot about

Ask Sally. She knows a lot about that.

talking about

What are you two whispering about?

known about

Little is known about what happened.

hear about

I know you have just been to Hawaii. I want to hear all about it.

keep your wits about you

Be very careful. There are lots of thieves around. Keep your wits about you.

exercise 1
exercise 2
exercise 3
exercise 4

28 thoughts on “Word Grammar – ‘about’”

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