How your room would light up if you won't shift the curtains aside and let the sunshine come in.

Is the word shift correct when used about curtains in this context?

  • 1
    There is no mistake in grammar, though it is usual to refer to drawing curtains rather than shifting them. But isn't there a logical mismatch in your quotation?
    – Kate Bunting
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 10:52
  • @Kate bunting pardon. I didn't get you Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 11:40
  • 1
    Your sentence doesn't make sense. But "shift" is OK -- "draw" or "pull" would be more idiomatic.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 12:14
  • 1
    The room would light up if the occupant would open the curtains, not if they won't! @Lambie I don't know where you're from, but in standard British English 'draw the curtains' does not imply the use of a mechanical device.
    – Kate Bunting
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 7:24
  • 1
    @Lambie My first sentence was to explain to the questioner what was illogical about his statement. I suppose I should have made two separate comments. Anyway, it's perfectly possible to draw the curtains with your hands.
    – Kate Bunting
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 7:32

1 Answer 1


In your sentence, shift is used in the following sense:

b : to make a change in (place)

I shifted the bag to my other shoulder.

To expand on the idea, what you are actually doing is shifting the end of the curtain from its location on one side of the window to the other side—which also shifts all other pieces of the curtain along the way. This exposes the window behind it.

Such a term would not be misunderstood. Although, as said, there are also other terms. The most common is likely just open the curtain.

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