Monday, 28 June 2010

Open or opened? Welcome or welcomed?

When do we use 'open' and when do we use 'opened'? Do we say 'You're welcome' or 'You're welcomed'?

These questions often pose problems to even advanced learners, let alone beginners. I've also seen teachers making mistakes with these.

The reason for this confusion is that the adjective form of some verbs is exactly the same as their verb form. "Open" and "welcome" are two examples. Look at these following sentences:

There's a shop around the corner that is open for business 24 hours a day.
Who left these windows open?
He was slumped in his armchair, fast asleep, snoring with his mouth wide open.

'Open' in the above examples is used as an adjective. However, in the sentences below, it is used as a verb. Remember that both the past tense and the past participle of 'open' is 'opened'.

Do you mind if I open this window?
The school gates are opened at 8.25. (Passive form)
The shop around the corner first opened in 2009.

'Welcome' is used in the same way:

You know that your friends are always welcome here.
You are welcome to that last piece of cake; I'm too full.
Everyone is welcome to attend tomorrow's meeting.
'Thank you!' 'You're welcome!'

'Welcome' in the above sentences is used as an adjective. These below use it as a verb:

They all welcomed the new proposals put forward at yesterday's meeting.
Visitors to this hotel are always so warmly welcomed. (Passive form)
I always welcome comments from my readers.


Although close exists as an adjective, as in 'We can walk to the cinema from here; it's quite close', when used to mean 'shut', the past participle form is used.

This shop is closed on Mondays.
Who left these windows closed?

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