Meaning of ABOUT in English

ABOUT

I

adjective

BAD : I was about leaving when the telephone rang.

GOOD : I was about to leave when the telephone rang.

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be about to do sth (NOT doing )

Compare: 'I was just leaving when the telephone rang.'

II

preposition

1

BAD : I am always delighted when I receive a letter from you. About the party on December 26th, I shall be very pleased to attend.

GOOD : I am always delighted when I receive a letter from you. With regard to the party on December 26th, I shall be very pleased to attend.

BAD : People usually sleep with the doors and windows closed. About public transport, the bus and train services are excellent.

GOOD : People usually sleep with the doors and windows closed. As for public transport, the bus and train services are excellent.

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About may be used to introduce a topic (or change of topic), but only in informal styles: 'About that book you asked for - I'll get you a copy when I go to London.'

In other styles, use with regard to, regarding, as for, as regards or as far as ... is concerned : 'With regard to the matter of unemployment, I would like to add a few remarks to those of the previous speaker.' 'I regret to inform you that Language and Culture is out of print. As regards your second question, I suggest that you write to the British Museum.'

2

BAD : It all depends on how different the new country is from your own. About myself, I haven't experienced any culture shock but then this is my second trip to the States.

GOOD : It all depends on how different the new country is from your own. In my own case, I haven't experienced any culture shock but then this is my second trip to the States.

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To show that you are going to start talking about your own personal experience or situation, use in my own case or (especially in informal styles) as for me/myself : 'Many people have benefited from the operation. In my own case, I began to feel better immediately.' 'Most of my friends like school. As for me, I can't wait to leave.'

Longman Common Errors English vocabulary.      Английский словарь распространенных ошибок Longman.