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
bring about change
- There is no doubt about his ability but he doesn’t work well with other people
- 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?
- i’m concerned about Simon. He is acting very strangely.
- 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.
- What are you two whispering about?
- Little is known about what happened.
- 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.
Return to List of Grammar Lessons