What Does About To Mean?

About To Meaning

Definition: Moments away (from doing something); ready to (do something).

Origin of About To

This expression first appeared in writing in the year 1535. A man named Miles Coverdale used it in his English translation of the Bible (Joshua 18:8)

Examples of About To

define about toIn this example, a man uses the expression while talking on the phone to his friend about a favor.

Rodrigo: Hey, Alisha! What’s up?

Alisha: Not much. By the way, I have a question for you. Do you remember a few weeks ago you that told me that you would fix the broken plate I had? I was just wondering if you’d had time to fix it yet.

Rodrigo: Oh, I’m so glad you brought it up! I actually have the plate right here, and I was just about to fix it when you called.

Alisha: Really? That’s great! Does that mean I can come pick it up later today?

Rodrigo: Of course!

meaning of about toIn the example below, two friends are discussing possible new jobs.

Luis: Hey, can I ask your opinion about something?

Stephanie: Sure! What is it?

Luis: Well, I was just about to apply for this position as a chef, but then I thought it might be too stressful. What do you think? Should I do it?

Stephanie: Absolutely! Actually, I have a lot of reasons why I think you should apply, but I was just about to head to work. I’ll tell you all the reasons later tonight, once I’m back home.

Luis: Okay, I’ll do it! See you later!

Stephanie: Bye!

More Examples

This excerpt is about armed robbery. The victim was almost ready to deposit money in an ATM, but a robber interrupted him in order to steal from him.

  • “The victim said he did not have that much money in his account and offered the $300 cash he was about to deposit in the ATM,” Mohr said. –OC Register

A concert venue was moments away from turning on the lights when a musician started climbing on the stage’s set.

  • They were just about to flick the lights on Tuesday night at House of Blues Anaheim when Growlers frontman Brooks Nielsen clambered up an amplifier on the right side of the stage. –OC Register


The phrase about to means you are just on the verge of doing something or that you will start doing something soon.