I am reading a book titled Struts 2 in action, and there is this sentence:

That about covers it for aspects of OGNL that are commonly used in Struts 2.

What I am confused by it is the structure of the sentence and the means of 'That about covers it'.

1 Answer 1


"That about covers it" means "that's pretty much everything there is to say about it", or simply "that almost covers it".

Edit: now that you have added a bounty, it's obvious that the above explanation doesn't help you that much. So I went out and dug up that quote in context:

As you can see, each filtering or projection simply returns a new collection for your use. This convenient notation can be used to get the most out of a single set of data. Note that you can combine filtering and projection operations. That about covers it for aspects of OGNL that are commonly used in Struts 2. In the next section, we’ll cover some of the advanced features that might help you out in a pinch, but, still, we recommend keeping it simple unless you have no choice.

As we can see from the context, "that about covers it" can be simply replaced with "so much". As in, "So much for the most common aspects of OGNL used in Struts 2". Or even: "These are the most common aspects of OGNL used in Struts 2".

What the author is saying is: "In this chapter here, we have covered some common, simple stuff. Chances are, that's all you will ever need. Yes, there is also more advanced, complicated stuff — and in fact, we will cover it in the next chapter, so do read on if you want to know more — but still, the simple stuff mentioned above will be probably enough for most people in their everyday work. Keep it simple!"

  • 8
    Just to add: one standard meaning of "to cover" is "To deal with; treat of: The book covers the feminist movement" (from thefreedictionary.com/cover). So you don't have to only use this set phrase, you can say things like "Have we covered OGNL yet?" to mean "Have we talked thoroughly about OGNL yet?"
    – Kosmonaut
    Sep 2, 2010 at 15:29
  • 6
    @cindi: I wouldn't go quite that far, I think this is simply a not-so-common usage of the word "about" (and "cover", for that matter), at least to foreign learners. We can deduce the meaning of the phrase from an understanding of the individual words, it's just that we have to understand each of them correctly :-). That is "that", about is "almost" (and not "concerning, with regard to"), covers is "treats, deals with" (and not "overlays, conceals"), and it is "it". "That concerning overlays it" certainly makes no sense, but "That almost deals with it" is a good enough approximation.
    – RegDwigнt
    Sep 24, 2010 at 13:48

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