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.0

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.