Posted by Manjusha Filed in Practical English Usage

The preposition about has several uses.

To indicate movement or position

About indicates movement or position in various directions and places.

To mean 'near to'

About can mean 'near to.'

To mean approximately

About can mean a little more or less, a little before or after and similar ideas.

How about, what about

How about and what about are used to seek an opinion and/or propose a plan.

About and On

About and on can both mean in connection with. However, there is a slight difference between them.


On used in the first sentence suggests that the book is serious or academic. It fits specialists. About used in the second sentence suggests that the book only gives some information.

About to

About to means on the point of doing something.

Not about to can mean unwilling to.

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See Also

As, since, because and for
A lot of, lots of, plenty of, a great deal of
Below and under
Above and over
Both and both of
As if and as though
Fairly, quite, pretty and rather
Finally, at last, in the end and at the end
No and none


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