How to use “ABOUT TO” in English

How to use "ABOUT TO" in English

What you are about to learn will be very useful when speaking English! In this video, we will look at “about to”, a term we use when talking about the near future. It describes something someone plans to do very soon. I will teach you when to use “about to” and how to use it correctly. Try my quiz at the end of the lesson to make sure you understand. I hope you are about to click on this video!


Hello. My name is Emma and I am about to teach you “about to”. Okay?

So, “about to”, what does it mean and how do we use it? Well, let’s look at an example to really understand this. “I am about to clean my room.” I want you to think for a moment. Do you think this sentence is about the past, the present, or the future? So: “I am about to clean my room.” If you said this is about the future, you are correct. We use “about to” when we’re talking about something we will do very soon in the future. We’re not talking about far in the future. We usually use “will” for that. We’re talking about very, very soon like in the next five minutes or in the next couple of minutes. So, I am about to give you some examples of “about to”.

So we have here “I” as a subject: “I am about to”, and then after “about to” we have a verb. I put this in colour to help you remember it better. We have: “You are about to” and the verb. “She or he is about to” and a verb. “We are about to” and a verb. “You guys are about to” and a verb. I’ve put here: “You guys”, which is a bit informal, but when we’re talking about a group of people in an informal situation we can use: “You guys”, and: “They are about to” with a verb. So what can we do with the verbs here? Well, if you look up here I have: “I am about to clean my room.” We keep the verb in the infinitive in this case. “I am about to study English.”, “You are about to listen to me speak.”, “She is about to watch TV.”, “We are about to go to the gym.”, “You guys are about to listen to Justin Bieber.”, “They are about to take a shower.” Okay? So now let’s do some together, let’s put the verb in the proper form together.

Okay, so just to remember: When we’re talking about “about to”, we’re talking about the future and usually we’re talking about either the immediate future, meaning the next 5-10 minutes or the next couple of hours or we can also be talking about soon. Soon is different for different people, so I might be talking about in the next couple of days or in the next couple of weeks, but what I really mean is soon. Okay? So I can say: “I am about to go on vacation”, and that means soon I will go on vacation.

Okay, so now let’s do some examples together.
“I am about to _________.”
How can we change this verb into the proper form? “I am about to…” Well, this was a trick question. You said: “call”-and we add a little period here-you are correct. It’s very easy to use “about to”. We just need the subject, “am”, “about to”, and the verb.

All right, let’s look at the next example together.
“Ednan is _________ do homework.”
Now, I want to talk about Ednan in the immediate future, what he’s going to do very soon, so what can we put here? If you said: “about to”, you are correct. “Ednan is about to do his homework.” Okay?

Now, let’s do one more:
“Jess is about to _________.”
And here we have the verb “study”. So, again, very easy. What do we write? “Jess is about to study.” Which means she is going to study soon. Okay?

I hope you are about to subscribe to my channel. There, you can find a lot of really great resources on all sorts of things English, including conversation, listening, speaking, IELTS. I have covered a lot of topics, so I hope you check that out. I also want to invite you to practice “about to” by visiting our website, There, you can actually do a quiz. I hope you’re about to do this quiz where you can practice everything you learned today. So until next time, thanks for watching and take care.