Open vs Opened – Difference Explained (+14 Examples)

You might understand that “open” is an adjective and “opened” is a verb, but you might be struggling to understand when to use which one to describe something. Let’s talk about when “open” and “opened” are used in a sentence to see if we can help you understand.

What Is The Difference Between “Open” And “Opened”?

“Open” should be used when it’s an adjective used to describe a noun (i.e., “an open door”). “Opened” should be used when you or someone else carried out the action of opening something (i.e., “you opened a door” or “the door opened”).

What Is The Difference Between "Open" And "Opened"?

Is “Open” Or “Opened” Used The Most?

While the two words are not synonymous, they are still very similar in meaning. Let’s have a look at the usage of the two and talk about it a little more.

If you look at this graph, you’ll see that “open” as an adjective is the more popular choice of the two words to use in literature. “Opened” is less popular, but oddly enough, both words seem to follow the same general line, only that “opened” is always lower in popularity.

Is "Open" Or "Opened" Used The Most?

People mostly get confused with using “opened” when we look at the opposite word, “closed.” We’ll talk more about this in a little bit, but it can seem confusing at first that a door is either open or closed rather than opened and closed.

7 Examples Of How To Use “Open” In A Sentence

We find that examples are some of the most useful ways for you to start to learn the language rules associated with different words. Let’s look at “open” in the adjective form and see when it makes the most sense.

In the adjective form, “open” is used to describe a noun. That means that the object is in a state of being open rather than physically being opened by someone as an action.

  1. The door is open, and you should close it.
  2. Love is an open door.
  3. The store is open, so please visit it.
  4. Are you open?
  5. I’m an open book, so ask me anything.
  6. This is an open house. Feel free to try the cookies and explore to your heart’s content.
  7. This is an open competition; anyone can sign up if they’d like to.

In all of these examples, “open” is used as a descriptive word. It either comes directly before the noun, like “open house,” or directly after, like “the door is open.” Those are the only two major positions you’ll see “open” when you write it in a sentence.

You might also see the present tense or infinitive form “open” used in a sentence in the verb form. Like any verb, the infinitive form is the base form and has the word “to” come before it.

  • I need you to open the door.

This is an example of when the verb “open” is used instead. It has to be in the present tense when used in this way.

7 Examples Of How To Use “Opened” In A Sentence

Now let’s go over the past tense usage of the verb “opened.”

We use “opened” when someone has already carried out the action of opening a noun.

  1. I opened the door to let her in.
  2. He opened the store an hour earlier than usual.
  3. You opened up to me, and I appreciate that.
  4. We opened our store together!
  5. The door opened by itself!
  6. She opened her book, and some ants crawled out!
  7. They opened the parcel.

As you can see, we use “opened” as the past tense action of opening something. It’s used when we want to say that someone or something acted upon turning something from closed to open.

Why Do We Say That A Door Is Either Open Or Closed?

It’s time to talk about the more interesting side of this discussion. Many people get confused because we have either an “open door” or a “closed door.” However, we can’t have an “opened door” or a “close door” in the same way.

“Closed” is an adjective that comes from the verb “to close.” The verb form came first in this case. On the other hand, “open” is an adjective and came before the verb form “to open,” which is why historically we have an “open door” or a “closed door.”

Technically, the opposite of “open” in this case is “shut,” and both have a German origin. “Shut,” like “open,” is an adjective, but very few people use it to describe a door. That’s why we use the adjective “closed” instead.

What Is The Difference Between “Open” And “Open Up”?

When we add “up” to the end of “open” to say “open up,” we generally mean that we want someone to “open something up entirely.” That means not leaving anything closed.

“Up” is used as an adverb when writing after a verb like this.

Is It “We Are Open” Or “We Are Opened”?

When talking about whether a store or service is ready to serve, we must use “we are open.” “Open” is the adjective used to describe the state of being open, so it’s the only correct option. “We are opened” is incorrect.

Not only is “opened” a verb, which isn’t the state that we want to use when we say a phrase like this, but it’s also a past tense verb. That means we are “opened” in the past, which is even more wrong because we want to say “we are open” currently.

Quiz: Have You Mastered The Open Vs Opened Grammar?

It’s time to put what you’ve learned to the test and try out a quick quiz to see whether you understand the grammar rules associated with the verb or adjective forms.

  1. I need you to (A. open / B. opened) the bank vault.
  2. Are you (A. open / B. opened), or should I come back?
  3. We (A. open / B. opened) a store together last month!
  4. You (A. open / B. opened) up to me, but I’m not entirely sure why!
  5. That’s an (A. open / B. opened) envelope, but there’s nothing inside.

Quiz Answers

  1. A
  2. A
  3. B
  4. B
  5. A