Is “About” a Preposition in English?

When learning English, one encounters various parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions. Prepositions are particularly interesting because they help establish relationships between different elements in a sentence. One commonly used word that often raises questions is “about.” Is “about” a preposition in English? In this article, we will explore the nature of prepositions, examine the usage of “about,” and provide valuable insights into its role in the English language.

Understanding Prepositions

Before delving into the specific case of “about,” it is essential to have a clear understanding of prepositions. Prepositions are words that typically indicate location, direction, time, or manner. They establish relationships between nouns, pronouns, and other words in a sentence. Prepositions are often followed by a noun or pronoun, forming a prepositional phrase.

For example:

  • The book on the table is mine.
  • She walked to the park.
  • We will meet at 6 p.m.

In these examples, the words “on,” “to,” and “at” are prepositions that establish relationships between the nouns or pronouns that follow them.

The Usage of “About”

Now, let’s focus on the word “about.” In English, “about” can function as different parts of speech, including an adverb, an adjective, and a preposition. However, in the context of this article, we will specifically explore its role as a preposition.

As a preposition, “about” is used to indicate a general location, a topic, or a relationship between two or more things. It often introduces a prepositional phrase that provides additional information about the noun or pronoun that follows it.

Consider the following examples:

  • I saw a movie about space exploration.
  • She is passionate about environmental conservation.
  • We had a discussion about the upcoming project.

In these sentences, “about” introduces prepositional phrases that provide more information about the nouns “space exploration,” “environmental conservation,” and “the upcoming project.”

Case Studies and Examples

To further illustrate the usage of “about” as a preposition, let’s explore some case studies and examples.

Case Study 1: “About” as a General Location

In this case study, we will examine how “about” can indicate a general location.


  • The party is happening about two blocks from here.

In this example, “about” is used to indicate an approximate location. It suggests that the party is not precisely two blocks away but somewhere in the vicinity.

Case Study 2: “About” as a Topic

In this case study, we will explore how “about” can introduce a topic.


  • Let’s talk about our plans for the weekend.

In this example, “about” introduces the topic of discussing plans for the weekend. It indicates that the conversation will revolve around this particular subject.

Case Study 3: “About” as a Relationship

In this case study, we will examine how “about” can establish a relationship between two or more things.


  • There is something mysterious about that old house.

In this example, “about” suggests that the old house possesses a mysterious quality. It establishes a relationship between the house and the mysterious attribute.


1. Can “about” be used as a preposition in any context?

Yes, “about” can be used as a preposition in various contexts. Its usage depends on the specific relationship it establishes between the elements in a sentence.

2. Are there any synonyms for “about” as a preposition?

Yes, there are several synonyms for “about” as a preposition, including “regarding,” “concerning,” and “pertaining to.”

3. Can “about” be used as a preposition in other languages?

While this article focuses on the usage of “about” as a preposition in English, it is important to note that prepositions can vary across languages. The specific usage of “about” may differ in other languages.

4. Can “about” be used as a preposition in formal writing?

Yes, “about” can be used as a preposition in formal writing. However, it is important to maintain a consistent and appropriate tone throughout the text.

5. Can “about” be used as a preposition in spoken English?

Absolutely! “About” is commonly used as a preposition in spoken English, allowing individuals to express various relationships and topics in their conversations.


In conclusion, “about” can indeed function as a preposition in English. As a preposition, it helps establish relationships between different elements in a sentence, indicating location, topic, or a general relationship. Understanding the usage of “about” as a preposition is crucial for effective communication in both written and spoken English. By exploring case studies, examples, and answering common questions, we have shed light on the role of “about” as a preposition, providing valuable insights into its usage in the English language.