Monday, February 4, 2008

Open and Closed

When we go to stores and restaurants, we're always conscious of the difference between the "open" and "closed" signs. The meanings are obvious so I won't blog about them. Instead, I'd like to look at the grammar of these two words when describing the state of a shop or restaurant.

We always say a place is "open" like we always say a place is "closed." We never say shop is "opened" or a shop is "close." Why is this?

Although "open" is normally used as a verb--an action word ("I will open the store," "She opened the store yesterday"), in the case of describing whether a shop can take customers, it becomes an adjective. "Open," then, is the word which describes the state of a shop--"The shop is open (ready to take customers)."

Now, "closed" can also be a verb ("I closed the store," "I will close the store") and an adjective--"The store is closed today." In this case, the store is not able to take in customers. We never say "The store is close." If that is done, the meaning of the statement changes (close means nearby, as in "The store is close to our house).

So, the store is open today but closed tomorrow.

1 comment:

Qing said...

Both "open" and "closed" in this context are used as adjectives.