Meaning of ABOUT in English

ABOUT

INDEX:

1. about a subject or person

2. to have something as the main subject

RELATED WORDS

talk about : ↑ DISCUSS

ask about : ↑ ASK

approximately a number or amount : ↑ ABOUT/APPROXIMATELY

around a place or thing : ↑ AROUND/ROUND

connected with something or someone : ↑ CONNECTED WITH/RELATED

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1. about a subject or person

▷ about /əˈbaʊt/ [preposition]

▪ Toby talks about you all the time.

▪ This leaflet should answer all the questions you have about switching to digital TV.

▪ I’m reading a really good book at the moment - it’s about the French Revolution.

▪ What’s all the fuss about?

about what/how/where etc

▪ I’ve been thinking about what you said, and I’ve decided that you’re right.

▷ on /ɒnǁɑːn, ɔːn/ [preposition]

about a particular subject :

▪ Lucia Piatti has written several books on the subject.

advice/opinions/ideas etc on

▪ If you want any advice on where to stay, Jan should be able to help you.

▪ His views on women are really old-fashioned.

on what/how/where etc

▪ Do you have any ideas on where to eat tonight?

book/programme/film etc on

▪ a book on 19th century English Literature

▪ a lecture on Native American customs and folklore

▪ Did you see that programme on South Africa last night?

▷ concerning/regarding /kənˈsɜːʳnɪŋ, rɪˈgɑːʳdɪŋ/ [preposition] formal

about something or someone - use this especially to talk about information, ideas, or questions :

▪ For any details concerning a particular country you should check with the embassy.

▪ Richard was called in by the police to answer questions concerning the disappearance of Thomas Ripley.

▪ If you have any questions regarding any of our services, please feel free to call me.

▪ Thank you for your letter regarding the annual subscription to our magazine.

▷ on the subject of /ɒn ðə ˈsʌbdʒɪkt ɒv/ [preposition]

if you talk or write on the subject of someone or something, you talk or write about them :

▪ Marie said nothing at all on the subject of Mr Bertram.

while we’re on the subject

used when you are talking about a subject and want to say more about it

▪ While we’re on the subject of money, do you have that $10 you owe me?

▷ re /riː/ [preposition]

used in short business letters, messages etc :

▪ Re planning meeting on Friday, please bring sales figures.

▪ To: John Deacon. From: Maria Soames. Re: computer system.

▷ with regard to /wɪð rɪˈgɑːʳd tuː/ [preposition] formal

used especially to introduce a subject that you want to talk about in a speech, formal report, meeting etc :

▪ With regard to the proposed new shopping mall, I would like to add a few remarks to those of the previous speaker.

▪ With regard to your letter concerning my January payment, this matter has now been settled.

▷ wrt

use this in e-mails to introduce the subject you want to talk about. Wrt is an abbreviation of ‘with regard to’ :

▪ Wrt your looking out for a new computer, I saw a good offer in the paper yesterday.

▪ I’ll be contacting Jean tomorrow wrt the Christmas party - is there anything you’d like me to suggest to her?

2. to have something as the main subject

▷ be about /biː əˈbaʊt/ [verb phrase]

▪ The play is about life in the Deep South in the 1930s.

▪ What’s tonight’s documentary about?

▪ Have you ever read ‘Hideous Kinky’? It’s about an English woman and her daughter travelling in Morocco.

▷ deal with/be concerned with /ˈdiːl wɪð , biː kənˈsɜːʳnd wɪð/ [transitive phrasal verb/verb phrase]

to be about a particular subject, especially a serious one, and examine it carefully and in detail. Deal with is much more common than be concerned with :

▪ The story deals with the psychological conflicts between mother and son.

▪ The earliest films made in India dealt with mythological subjects.

▪ Elton’s books are often concerned with environmental issues.

▷ concern /kənˈsɜːʳn/ [transitive verb]

if a story, report etc concerns someone or something, it is about them and especially about what happens to them :

▪ Much of the material in her early letters concerns events which happened some years before.

▷ focus on also centre on British /center on American /ˈfəʊkəs ɒn, ˈsentər ɒn/ [verb phrase]

if something such as a book, article, or discussion focuses on a subject or problem, it is mainly about it and examines it in detail :

▪ The next chapter will focus on this problem in greater detail.

▪ a weekly magazine mainly focusing on business-related issues

▪ The controversy centred on the question of illegal arms sales.

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