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.