Open vs opened in grammar

The door is open or opened. Which word should be used after the linking verb? Many students don’t know the difference and use it interchangeably.

Open is one of the words that is used as both an adjective and a verb.

OPEN as an adjective

As an adjective, it (open) means ‘available for use or allowing access to public’. It comes after a linking verb.


  • The office is open on weekends.
  • When I came back from the office, the store was still open.
  • The main gate is not open right now. It will be opened in some time.

OPEN as a verb

Open as a verb refers to the action of opening something or allowing


  • Open the main gate.
  • I can’t open this box. It belongs to Jon, and he told me not to open it without his permission.
  • Why aren’t your books open, students? Open your books right now.
  • The color of the door is fading away as it is opened many times.


  1. The door was open.
  2. Jon opened the door.
  3. The door was opened.

Let’s break down these sentences one by one.

In the first sentence, open is an adjective. It refers to the physical state of the door. If something is open (like a gate, door, park, building), it gives you access to enter.

The second sentence means that Jon performed the action of opening the door. Here, opened is a dynamic verb, the past form of open.

The confusion arises when it comes after a linking verb in a past or past participle form. In the third sentence, opened is a verb in the passive form. It is a past form of open. Someone opened the door, but we are not focusing on who did that. Actually, there is not much difference between the second and the third sentence. The only difference is the voice: the first one is in the active voice, meaning that we are focusing on the doer (subject), and the second one is in the passive voice, meaning that we are focusing on the receiver (object) of the action, not the doer.


Open as an adjective does not change its form and always comes after a linking verb, and open as a verb can change its form and can come after the subject or a linking verb.

Open vs opened in English
Open vs opened in English

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Hope now you know how these words are used after a linking verb. Do share the post with others to help them and share your questions, doubts, and feedbacks in the comment section.

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Ashish found his first love—the English language—a few years back. Since then, he has been immersed in the language, breaking down the language and teaching it to passionate English learners. He has a flair for listening to the English language (podcasts, sitcoms, stories), observing the nuances, and making it easy for English learners. He is known for breaking down complex English topics and making them easy to be understood.

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