When an activity or an action is going to happen in very soon from now, you can use the expression be about to + base verb.
- The lights just went off. The concert is about to start!
- It’s almost 8:00pm. My favorite TV program is about to begin.
- Jack put on his jacket. It looks like he is about to leave the office.
You can also use was about to + base verb with when to talk about two events that happened close to each other in the past. The event following when is generally an unexpected event.
- I was about to cook dinner when the phone rang.
- My favorite TV program was about to begin when the power went out.
- Jack was about to leave the office when the boss asked him to have a meeting.
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