The English language is full of nuances and complexities, and even the most experienced writers and speakers can sometimes struggle to understand the finer points of grammar and syntax.
One question that often arises is whether the word “about” is considered a preposition. In this blog post, we will explore the various ways in which “about” is used in the English language, and attempt to answer the question of whether or not it can be classified as a preposition.
Toward the end of the article, I will list all the synonyms and other related words, but first, let’s define what a preposition is.
What is a Preposition?
A preposition is a word that is used to show relationships that nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases have with other words within a sentence. They are usually used to show these relationships in terms of place, time, direction, location, spatial relationships, or to introduce an object.
There are a total of 150 prepositions, including aboard, above, across, after, against, along, amid, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, between, beyond, and by.
Is About a Preposition
Yes, “about” is a preposition. It is used in many ways, including to indicate nearness or proximity, movement or direction, or the subject of a particular thing in a statement. Here are a few examples of how “about” can be used as a preposition:
- I watched a movie about astronomy.
- The restless manager paced about the room.
“About” as a preposition
As a preposition, “about” is commonly used to introduce “the subject” or “a connection”
- The book is about ancient Egypt. (shows the subject of the movie)
- Do you know anything about cricket?
- We all know that he is perturbed about his club. It’s a sinking ship and he’s trying everything to save it.
When using “about” as a preposition, one can easily be tempted to use it instead of “on.” However, these words have different meanings.
For example, if you say, “They wrote a story about the World Cup,” you are saying the story generally covers the World Cup.
On the other hand, if you say, “They wrote a story on the United States men’s national soccer team during the World Cup,” you are talking about a story that specifically narrated the experiences of the United States men’s national soccer team at the World Cup.
“About” as an adverb
An adverb is any word that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb to indicate time, manner, place, degree, or other circumstances or states in which an action occurs.
As an adverb, ‘about” can mean a lot of things. For example, it can be used to mean “here and there,” “around,” and “nearly.”
- The wave was about as high as that building.
- I think we should stop and look about.
- He can not be trusted; he’s been wandering about from party to party.
- The three little odd men faced about and started running towards the frightened lady.
- He roughly estimated that there were about a million people living in the city.
“About” as an adjective
Synonyms of “About”
|On all sides||at hand||On|
|Around||within reach||Touching on|
|In circuit||on the doorstep||Dealing with|
|Circularly||(just) around the corner||Relevant to|
|by a circuitous way||approximately||With relevance to|
|Around the outside||roughly||Connected with|
|Here and there||in the area of||In connection with|
|In one place and another||of the order of||On the subject of|
|Nearby||something like||In the matter of|
|With close correspondence||or thereabouts||Throughout|
|Approximately||more or less||Over|
|With close correspondence||give or take a few||Through|
|To and fro||getting on for||All over|
|Back and forth||circa||In all parts of|
|From place to place||in the ballpark of||On every side of|
|Hither and thither||on the subject of||Encircling|
|In every direction||Concerning||Current|
|In all directions||Regarding||Going on|
|about the place||with reference to||Prevalent|
|not far off/away||With regard to||Pervasive|
|close by||With respect to||Endemic|
|in the vicinity||Respecting||happening|
|in the neighborhood||Relating to||in the air|
“About” is a versatile word that can be used in a variety of ways in the English language. It can serve as a preposition in certain contexts, but it is not always used in this way.
The most important thing is to understand the context in which the word is being used and to use it correctly in accordance with that context.