About vs Around – What’s the difference?

The words “about” and “around“ are commonly used in speech and writing in English. These are the basic words that one continuously engages with and are not very complex. But sometimes, people tend to use them interchangeably and overlook their differences.

It is safe to say that “about” and “around” have similar meanings. It is even said that “about” is a preference of British English and “around” is American English. But sometimes, both words can mean differently in different contexts. So, it is necessary to study distinctively their specific meanings and usage.

Let us discuss them in detail and understand them better with examples.

About vs Around - What’s the difference?

About vs Around – Difference

Both the words “about” and “around” can be used as prepositions, adverbs, and adjectives. While most people use them as synonyms, there can be some differences in their definitions and usage.

Use of About

About” when used as a preposition, can generally mean or indicate in a circle around. It can be defined as on the outside of something or on every side of. In fact, “about” as a preposition has several other definitions, such as; concerned with, on the verge of, concerning the time, quantity or size, and approximately.

Let us look at some examples;

  • Bind the rope about the neck.
  • She is almost about my height.
  • The TV show is about to start soon.
  • The president knows more about politics.

About” when used as an adverb, can mean on all sides. It can also mean half round, one after another, nearly, in succession, or in circumference.

For example;

  • The classroom is about as cold.
  • Stop rushing about.

About” when used as an adjective, indicates to move around. It generally means to be fully awake or out of bed. It can also be defined as in existence.

For example;

  • She took two weeks to be up and about again.

Use of Around

On the other hand, when we use “around” as a preposition, it indicates a circle or curve surrounding something or someone. It can also be defined in several other ways, such as; in many places, near to, on, or from the other side, or following a path.

Let us look at some examples;

  • She ran around the lakehouse.
  • I put my shawl around the table.
  • Her school is just around the corner.

About” when used as an adverb, can also be defined in several ways, such as; on every side, from place to place, generally, to face or turn in the opposite direction, too many places, or approximately.

For example;

  • The sweets were scattered around the hall.
  • He walked around many times.

About” can also be used as an adjective. When used as an adjective, it indicates the verb “to be.” That is, it means to exist or to live. It can also be defined as to be present, active, or alive.

For example;

  • She is one of the most sincere students around.

So we see, although very close to being the same regarding meaning, they still have some differences that one should consider. While both can be the same forms, their usage needs proper attention.

About in a Sentence

  • I’m unsure what this is about; can you explain it to me?
  • She’s always talking about her latest travel adventures.
  • I don’t know much about that topic, can you give me more information?
  • The book is about a young girl’s journey to find her true identity.
  • We need to have a serious talk about our relationship.
  • He’s always thinking about his next big project.
  • I’m not sure what to do about this situation.
  • I’ve been reading about the history of the Roman Empire.
  • She’s always worried about what others think of her.
  • I’m not interested in hearing about your problems right now.
  • I need to talk to you about something important.
  • I’ve been thinking about going back to school to get my master’s degree.
  • He’s always asking about how my day went.
  • We need to have a meeting about the company’s future plans.
  • I’m not sure what to do about this problem.
  • I’ve been learning about different types of plants and flowers.
  • She’s always thinking about her next big fashion purchase.
  • I’m not sure what to say about that.
  • I need to talk to you about a business opportunity.
  • I’ve been thinking about making some changes to my lifestyle.
  • He’s always curious about how things work.
  • We need to have a conversation about our budget.
  • I’m not sure what to think about that.
  • I’ve been reading about the latest advancements in technology.
  • She’s constantly worrying about her health and fitness.

Around in a Sentence

  • She looked around the room for her lost keys.
  • The dog ran around the yard, chasing after its tail.
  • We walked around the city, taking in the sights and sounds.
  • The car spun around in circles on the slippery road.
  • The children played around in the playground.
  • He looked around nervously before crossing the street.
  • The thief crept around the corner, trying to avoid detection.
  • The company is losing money, and there are rumors that layoffs are around the corner.
  • The ship sailed around the island, giving passengers a view of the coastline.
  • The storm passed around us, leaving the town untouched.
  • The teacher walked around the classroom, checking on the student’s progress.
  • The dancers moved around gracefully on the stage.
  • The sun shines around the clock during the summer months.
  • I’ve been looking around for a new job.
  • The company has been expanding around the world.
  • He walked around the block before going home.
  • A wall around its perimeter surrounds the city.
  • The wind blew around the branches of the tree.
  • Let’s meet around lunchtime.
  • The store is around the corner from my house.
  • We have been traveling around Europe for the last month.
  • The partygoers danced around to the music.
  • I looked around the store for a gift for my friend.
  • The moon shines around the clock during a full moon.
  • The company has been expanding around the globe.

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