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.

Definition:

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.”

Definition:

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.”

Definition:

a. being out of bed

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