look about

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Albpharma

Senior Member
Spaniard in UK
hi again...

i suppose this expression was a phrasal verb or an idiomatic locution because of it haven´t literal meaning i´m afraid... the context is the following

'At one point, Mr X looked about to lose his temper when one enemy shouted that he was trying to set up a police sate'

thanks in advance
 
  • rkirzner

    Member
    United States of America, English
    Hello!In this case, ¨looked about¨ means ¨looked like he was about.¨ The sentence would then read ¨At one point, Mr X looked like he was about to lose his temper...¨ Meaning, that he seems like he is going to get angry, soon. Hope this helps! - Rebecca
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Are you sure you got the words right? I wouldn't say Mr X looked about to lose his temper instead I'd say Mr X looked like he was about to lose his temper.

    I am assuming the reference is to Blair talking to Parliament on Wednesday.
     

    Albpharma

    Senior Member
    Spaniard in UK
    hi, cirrus ...

    i have parsed directly from the paper article .....
    'At an electric prime minister's questions, an angry Mr Blair tried to discomfort the Tories. "When those charged with protecting our country provide, as they have, a compelling case for action, I know what my duty is. My duty is to support them, and so is the duty, in my view, of every member of this house." At one point, Mr Blair looked about to lose his temper when one Tory shouted that he was trying to set up a police state.'


    and, yes, you guess correctly .. it´s talking about the Mr Blair´s defeat on the wednesday ballot..
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Just goes to show the papers don't always get it right. I wonder if they have any idea how many people use the papers as a way of learning different languages?
     

    Albpharma

    Senior Member
    Spaniard in UK
    i´m doing now , in fact ,....

    well... we can solve it if we count on english people so polite and cult like you , sir ....
     

    Chinita_ecuador

    Member
    Spanish-Ecuador
    And what about the following context:

    If you come upon a sleeping three-toed sloth in the wild, two or three nudges should suffice to awaken it; it will then look sleepily in every direction but yours. Why it should look about is uncertain since the sloth sees everything in a Magoo-like blur.
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    That's a different meaning. Looking about here is about looking around you. Looking like you are about to do something means it is probable you will do something.
     
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