Round or Around?

Hi there…

I’d like to know the correct usage of the words “Round” and “Around”.

Thanks for your help.


These words have more than one meaning. Can you give us examples of what is confusing you?

“They went round the corner”


“They went around the corner”

just as an example of the mess I make with these two.

Hi Jean Jacques,

I find it difficult to be precise about the difference. ‘Round the corner’ is the most obvious phrase when you are perhaps giving a location as in: You’ll find a small supermarket (just) round the corner - suggesting that it’s not far away. ‘Around the corner’ suggests more the idea of movement as in: We just caught sight of the procession as it was going around the corner - it was slowly going out of vision.


Hi Alan (and Jean Jacques)

In the US, it would be quite common and natural to hear “around” used in both of your examples. I’d say the British usage of “round” that you’re describing is not very likely to be heard over here.

Hi Jean Jacques,

Just to present a balance I should say that ‘around’ is fine to me also. I was just trying to make a fine distinction for which I understood you asked, but I wouldn’t (I mean if I were you) lose any sleep about the difference.


Hi, Amy

Which ones would you be more likely to say:

1.a. He’s driving me round the bend/twist v.s. 1.b. He’s driving me around the bend/twist
1.a. We’re going round in circles v.s. 1.b. We’re going around in circles
1.a. I can’t get my head round that problem v.s. 1.b. I can’t get my head around that problem

(my guess would be that you’d be likely to use the ones with “around”)

Thanks !

Thanks to all of you for the help.

Regards, Jean Jacques

V/ Live Long and Prosper.

Hi Alex

Yes, I’d expect to hear “around” in all of those.
“He’s driving me (a)round the twist” does not strike me as something that would be commonly used in the US either.

You may hear the occasional “round” (rather than “around”) on this side of the pond, too, but even if someone did use it, I don’t think the same sort of fine difference that Alan mentioned exists here.

Of course, it’s also possible to use “round” as a verb. You can say something like this, for example:

  • As I rounded the bend, the car skidded out of control.
    So, that might explain a possible association with motion if the adverb “round” happened to be used (here in the US).