Around vs. About

Around/round indicates movement or position in a circle or a curve.

  • They sat around the fire.
  • She walked around the house.

British people also use around to talk about going to all or most parts of a place, or giving things to everybody in a group.

  • We walked around the town. (=We went to almost all parts of the town.)
  • Could you pass the cups around, please?
Around and about

Around and about can both be used to mean here and there, some where in, in most parts of or similar ideas. They don’t suggest a definite or clear movement or position.

  • Children usually rush about/around .
  • The prince went riding about/around the country.
  • Where is Peter? He must be somewhere around/about.

Around/about can also mean approximately.

  • She earns around/about $300 a month.
  • Around/about fifty people were present at the meeting.

About As A Preposition

The preposition about has several uses.

To indicate movement or position

About indicates movement or position in various directions and places.

To mean ‘near to’

About can mean ‘near to.’

To mean approximately

About can mean a little more or less, a little before or after and similar ideas.

How about, what about

How about and what about are used to seek an opinion and/or propose a plan.

About and On

About and on can both mean in connection with. However, there is a slight difference between them.


On used in the first sentence suggests that the book is serious or academic. It fits specialists. About used in the second sentence suggests that the book only gives some information.

About to

About to means on the point of doing something.

Not about to can mean unwilling to.