Advanced Grammar – ‘To be about to’

Welcome friend!

This class is a advanced level class and we will be learning about the expression “to be about to”.  If you are not sure of your English level, take our test!

You can find all of this information, plus speaking exercises, writing exercises, vocabulary exercises and more on the ABA English Course Unit 122 “An Exciting Future”.

To be about to

We use this expression before another verb to say that we are just going to do something. It is used to refer to things that will happen in a very near future.


“He‘s about to get married”

“We are about to have lunch, would you like some?”

To stress that it is in the very near, we use the adverb “just”.


“They are just about to begin the exam”

“I have to go, I am just about to meet a friend”

In these examples, the verb is in the present tense, but we can also use it in the past and future tenses.

“To be about to”: Past and Future Tenses

Using this expression in other tenses is very simple! You just need to conjugate the verb “to be” correctly.

Remember that the past tense forms of the verb “to be” are “was” and “were”, and that in the future it is “will be”.


“We were about to leave when the phone rang”

“He was just about to pick up the phone when the doorbell rang”

“This time tomorrow I‘ll be about to get on a plane to China”

BOOM! Now you can use the expression “to be about to” in the present, past and future.

In ABA English Course Unit 122 “An Exciting Future”, you will meet Trevor and Martin. Find out why Trevor has an exciting adventure ahead of him!

Did you enjoy this lesson? If you did, then sign up! (it’s free!)

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