As I know, "Open" can be used as a Verb or an Adjective

For example, we say I'm opening the door, but do we say The door is opening ?

  • 2
    Yes, particularly if it is an automatic door.
    – WRX
    Feb 17, 2017 at 15:56
  • You begin the question asking about open, but then ask about opening. The door is opening means something different from The door is open and from The door is an opening.
    – choster
    Feb 17, 2017 at 15:57
  • I'm sure most people would say it's a verb usage in The door is opening. But the present participle can be used in an unquestionably adjectival role - as in, say, I asked the glazier to fit me an opening window in my bathroom. Feb 17, 2017 at 18:07

3 Answers 3


The door is open. That is the state or condition of the door. The door is opening. The door is in the process of becoming open.

When the door is finished opening, it will then be open.


Yes, open can be a verb, and opening is the form of the verb called the present participle. The present participle is used like an adjective with an auxiliary verb ("is", in this case) to indicate its current status or activity.

And as user178049 points out, to open can be used either transitively or intransitively, so it's correct to say either

  • I am opening the door (I am performing the action of making the door open)
  • The door is opening (the door is performing the action of becoming open)

Yes, you are right, open can be either an adjective or a verb. But that's not the issue, it's a matter of transitivity of the verb.

Open is an Ergative verb, it can be either transitive or intransitive depending on the context. So that means, both sentences are correct, just the difference is the latter doesn't answer "Who opens the door?" question. And I agree with Willow Rex in his comment that he said it's particularly used if it's an automatic door.

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