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Around versus round

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By Mary Morel

around

Around means:

  • On all sides (trees around the field)
  • In a circle (spin around, belt around her waist)
  • Approximately (around $500, woke around dawn)

round

Round can be used as:

  • An adjective (round face)
  • A verb (he rounded the bend)
  • A noun (she completed the round)

Some people use round instead of around in many instances, especially in spoken language. For instance:

The moon goes around the sun.
The moon goes round the sun.

The belt around her waist is gold.
The belt round her waist is gold.

The reverse is not true: you cannot use around instead of round. For instance, you would not say: She has an around face.

 

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