about */*/*/

UK [əˈbaʊt] / US adverb, preposition
Summary:

About can be used in the following ways: - as a preposition (followed by a noun): He told me about your problem. - as an adverb (without a following noun): Stop rushing about. - after the verb "to be": Is your father about? - followed by an infinitive with "to": I was just about to explain.
Collocations:
About or around? In meanings 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9, around is often used instead of about. Where a meaning of about is labelled British, around is the usual American word.
1) concerning a particular subject
a) used for stating who or what you are discussing, considering, describing, forgetting etc

Think about what I've told you.

She kept saying horrible things about my mother.

jokes about the president

all about:

They'd forgotten all about poor Harry.

b) used for stating who or what your feelings and attitudes are directed towards

I'm worried about Dad.

There's nothing to get excited about.

c) spoken used for introducing a subject that you want to discuss

About that money I owe you – I can pay you back next week.

It's about Jack – he's been so depressed lately.

2) not exactly a particular amount or number
a) used for showing that you are guessing at an amount or number

About 250 people were killed in the explosion.

Anthea must be about the same age as you.

b) used for referring to a time that is not exact

I woke up at about 3 am.

round about:

It must have been round about six when we got home.

3) used for showing movement
a) moving to many different parts or areas, or in different directions

The girls were dancing about the room in high spirits.

Abe was tired of wandering about on his own.

b) literary moving so that you face in the opposite direction

Diana turned about and marched out of the room.

4) used for saying where someone/something is
a) used for saying that things are in many different parts or areas, especially because they have been left there carelessly

Don't leave important papers lying about on your desk.

There were articles of clothing scattered about the room.

b) in or close to an area

The building was in darkness and there was no one about.

You shouldn't have been spraying weedkiller while there were children about.

c) literary surrounding or enclosing someone or something

Rasula wore a garland of flowers about her neck.

The prophet had gathered about him a band of faithful followers.

5) British how someone is spending their time
a) spending time in a place and not leaving it or not doing much

They've kept us waiting about all morning.

Dad was pottering about in the garden.

b) wasting time and behaving in a stupid way

Stop messing about. We've got a job to do.

6) searching, looking, or trying to find someone/something
a) British used for saying that someone looks in different places to find someone or something

George was groping about in the dark, trying to find the light switch.

b) mainly literary used for saying that someone looks in all directions to see who or what is there

Looking about me, I could see no sign of the others.

7) almost or probably used when you are making an extreme statement that you think is almost completely true or is probably true

Pam's about the only person that I can trust.

On this continent, Redmond is about as far west as you can go.

He's offended just about everybody.

8) in someone's/something's character used when referring to qualities that someone or something has

One thing I like about Tony, he always says exactly what he thinks.

There was something about her that made him uneasy.

9) British mainly spoken existing or available now used for saying that a particular type of person or thing exists or is available at this time

There's a lot of illness about.

I was looking for a real fur jacket. You don't see them about much nowadays.

be quick/slow about it — to be quick/slow in the way you do something

Bring me a towel and be quick about it.

Our lawyers are dealing with the matter, but they're being very slow about it.

do something/nothing/anything about something — to do something/nothing/anything in order to deal with a problem

Can't you do something about the noise? It's driving me crazy.

The Government know the system isn't working, but they do nothing about it.

See:
how, what

English dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • about: — about: es un esquema interno URI (también conocido como régimen URL o, erróneamente, protocolo ) en distintos navegadores web para mostrar ciertas funciones incorporadas. No es un sistema oficialmente registrado, y no tiene la sintaxis estándar.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • About: — About: About: (« à propos de » en anglais) est un préfixe utilisé dans une série de navigateurs pour accéder, via l interface même du navigateur (par la barre d adresses), à des pages très particulières. Les URIs saisies affichent donc… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • About: — about: Saltar a navegación, búsqueda about: es un esquema interno URI (también conocido como régimen URL o, erróneamente, protocolo ) en distintos navegadores web para mostrar ciertas funciones incorporadas. No es un sistema oficialmente… …   Wikipedia Español

  • about: — about: (« à propos de » en anglais) est un schéma d URI utilisé dans une série de navigateurs pour accéder, via l interface même du navigateur (par la barre d adresses), à des pages très particulières. Les URIs saisies affichent donc –… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • about — 1. as a preposition. In the meaning ‘roughly, approximately’ (eg. It took about ten minutes, about is the usual BrE word; around is also used, and is much more common in AmE. Round about is more informal, and is largely confined to BrE. 2.… …   Modern English usage

  • about — [ə bout′] adv. [ME aboute(n) < OE onbūtan, around < on, ON + be, BY + ūtan, outside < ūt, OUT: all senses develop from the sense of “around”] 1. on every side; all around [look about] 2. here and there; in all directions [travel abou …   English World dictionary

  • About — A*bout , adv. 1. On all sides; around. [1913 Webster] Tis time to look about. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. In circuit; circularly; by a circuitous way; around the outside; as, a mile about, and a third of a mile across. [1913 Webster] 3. Here and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • about — [ abu ] n. m. • 1213; de abouter ♦ Techn. Extrémité d une pièce de bois, de métal, préparée pour se joindre à une autre. Pièce métallique que l on fixe à une seringue pour y adapter l aiguille. ⇒ embout. Extrémité (d un rail). ● about nom… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • About.me — About.me …   Википедия

  • About — A*bout , prep. [OE. aboute, abouten, abuten; AS. [=a]butan, onbutan; on + butan, which is from be by + utan outward, from ut out. See {But}, {Out}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Around; all round; on every side of. Look about you. Shak. Bind them about thy… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • About — can refer to:*About box, a dialog box displaying credits for a piece of computer software * About.com, a website offering consumer related advice * abOUT , an LGBT magazine * About (musical artist), a music project * , an internal URI scheme… …   Wikipedia


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