I introduced myself in my new job today and I was told to use this phrase to wrap up my presentation "That about covers who I am" What I can understand from this phrase is the "about" part is being used as a noun which is a function I could not find in any dictionary, Am I right?

2 Answers 2


It is not being used as a noun, but as an adverb.

Although your parsing of the sentence is not correct, it does make grammatical sense. A noun could fit into that structure. Consider:

That summary covers who I am

This still isn't especially idiomatic, but it's definitely syntactically valid.

What's actually going on in this sentence is that about is modifying the verb covers. Your introduction about covers.

Again, if we swap about with a word that's more obviously an adverb, the structure might become clearer:

That almost covers who I am

That practically covers who I am

That mostly covers who I am

These other sentences have more or less the same meaning as the original.

  • I'd just add for clarity, the subject of the sentence is "that", which is being used as a pronoun.
    – Jay
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 22:36

No, about is not a noun here, and about cannot be used as a noun. About is being used as an adverb here, to describe how "covers" is being done.

The meaning here is "That roughly or approximately covers who I am." This is essentially definition 1a at Merriam-Webster:

1 a : reasonably close to

  • I didn't know about that meaning, thank you!
    – Quique
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 18:17
  • I would say that 'about' used like that is mainly US dialectical (sometimes seen as 'bout in some rural or regional speech). Brits might say 'just about'. Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 19:01
  • Most Linux programs have an About option accessible from a drop-down menu option alongside things like Help and Check for updates. As the name implies, the About option shows things like version number, copyright notices, etc. But I'd be happy to see just the label itself used as a (capitalised) noun: "This app's About lists all the developers who have ever worked on it!" As is usually the case with English, just about any word can be forced into just about any Part of Speech! Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 0:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .