Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Word grammar: round

Type: Article

Tim Bowen rounds off with another informative word grammar article.

Round functions most commonly as an adjective, an adverb or a preposition but it can also be used as a noun and a verb.

As a noun, round has a number of meanings, including a series of visits to different people or places made as part of someone’s job, as in ‘Both doctors were out on their rounds’ and ‘The bag was found by a postman out on his morning round’.  Apart from its use to mean one of a series of meetings or games in a competition (e.g. the next round of peace talks; the second round of the cup competition), round is used specifically for a complete game of golf (e.g. They play a round of golf every Sunday). It is also used to mean a drink for each of the people in a group, as in ‘Tom went to the bar to order another round of drinks’ and for a bullet or shot fired from a weapon, as in ‘This gun is capable of firing over 1,000 rounds per minute’.

As a verb, round means to go round something, as in ‘We had just rounded the corner when we noticed our house was on fire’. It can also mean to make something round or curved, as in ‘You have to round your lips to produce this vowel sound correctly’. Round is also used in a number of phrasal verbs, notably round up and round down, meaning to increase or decrease to the nearest whole number or number ending in zero, as in ‘The total came to £10.04 but she rounded it down to £10’. If you round on someone, you react angrily towards them, as in ‘He rounded on the critics who had been calling for his resignation’. If you round something off, you end it in a satisfactory way, as in ‘They rounded off their tour with a magnificent final concert’.

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