about: adverb or preposition

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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about: adverb or preposition

Post by clarence » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:53 am


I'm new to this forum. I was wondering if 'about' in the sentence below is an adverb or preposition:

I was about to cry.

I saw the sentence in Webster's New World Children's Dictionary, which puts it as an adverb, but Webster's New World Student's Dictionary puts it as a preposition. Both give the definition as 'almost ready'.


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Re: about: adverb or preposition

Post by Alan » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:23 am

Linguists may differ in their analysis of this word, as the construction is rather difficult to classify on a strictly analogical basis.
As long as you understand its meaning, I would suggest that you need not overly concern yourself with this point!