What Part of Speech is “ABOUT”

In the English language, the word “about” has multiple purposes. It can be used as a preposition, an adverb, or an adjective.

  1. Preposition

This word can be categorized as a preposition when it is used to indicate movement to a specific location, or, the subject of something written or spoken. For example, in the sentence below:

I read a book about decoupage.

The word “about” is used to indicate the subject of the “book” that is being talked about in the sentence.


a. on the subject of; concerning

  • Example:
  • I was thinking about her.

b. used to indicate movement within a particular area

  • Example:
  • He looked about the room.


  1. Adverb

The word “about” can be considered as an adverb if it is used to modify a verb or another adverb. For instance, in the sample sentence below:

I saw the kid floundering about in the water.

The word is categorized as an adverb because it modifies the verb “floundering.”


a. used to indicate movement in an area

  • Example:
  • There were snakes crawling about in the grass.

b. almost or nearly

  • Example:
  • He was about to join the army.


  1. Adjective

In some cases, the word “about” is also categorized under adjectives if it tells something about a noun or a pronoun. Take for example, the sentence below:

Shane’s up and about again, but he may still not be able to drive for months.

In this example, the word “about” serves as an adjective that describes the noun “Shane.”


a. being out of bed

  • Example:
  • He’s always up and about  at 5 in the morning.
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