intransitive phrasal verb: go around

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I have a phrasal verb with three different meanings for you today: “go around”. Let me go over the various meanings for you.

1. for an illness to be passed from person to person (usually a cold or the flu). For example:

I caught a bad cold on Sunday. You’d better be careful. It’s going around these days.

My friends in Japan are wearing face masks these days because the flu is going around, and they don’t want to catch it.

2. for a rumor or piece of gossip to be circulated. For example:

There’s a rumor going around that you are planning to start your own company. Is it true?

It’s going around at the office that Peter and Meg are dating, but it’s not true.

3. to have enough of something for everyone in a group. For example:

There aren’t enough test papers to go around, so we’ll have to photocopy some more.

Do you think we’ll have enough champagne to go around, or should we open another bottle?

With the first two meanings, we always use this expression in the -ing form – “going around”. However, with the last meaning, we use the infinitive form – “to go around”. As you can see, we also often use the word “enough” in this case.

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