The front door slid open.

I am curious about "slid open" in this context. Is "slid" a verb or an adverb? Is "open" a verb or not?

Is a "slide open" a phrasal verb like "push open"?

  • 1
    Slid is the past tense of slide. Open is an adverb meaning that the door did not move into a closed state.
    – oerkelens
    Apr 11, 2014 at 8:04
  • @oerkelens If "open" is adverb then what is a question for this adverb "how?", "in what manner?" or something else? Apr 11, 2014 at 8:21
  • "Into what position/direction?" What question do you use for on in "I turned the light on" or for out in "I kicked the dog out"?
    – oerkelens
    Apr 11, 2014 at 8:25
  • @oerkelens I kicked the dog (where?) out "I turned the light on" I can't ask a question for the word "on" in this sentence Apr 11, 2014 at 8:37
  • 1
    You could call it an adjective, a resultative secondary predicate, like in "I knocked him unconscious" (not *unconsciously).
    – user230
    Apr 11, 2014 at 8:41

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't call it a phrasal verb. In phrasal verbs, the the two words together take on an entirely new meaning. For example, when I say:

Why don't you grow up?

I don't mean, "Why don't you grow taller?"; I mean, "Why don't you act more mature?"

However, when I say:

Would you please slide the door open.

I mean exactly what the two words mean: open the door, by sliding it.

The next part of your question is interesting. My first thought was that slide is the verb and open is an adverb:

  • Please slide the door open.

  • Please slide the door closed.

  • Please slide the door to let some fresh air in.

But that last one seems a bit peculiar. It seems like I am trying to say:

  • Please open the door to let some fresh air in.

Which made me wonder if open is the verb and slide is the adverb.

Back to your sentence:

The front door slid open.

I think slid is the verb in that sentence. Why? Because that's the word I would change when I'm changing the tense of the sentence:

  • The front door slid open.
  • The front door is sliding open.
  • The front door will slide open.

The word open functions as an adverb – we can confirm this by replacing open with other adverbs:

  • The front door slid noisily.
  • The front door is sliding roughly.
  • The front door will slide tomorrow.
  • "open" as adverb confuses me because doesn't change its form. Apr 11, 2014 at 9:48
  • 1
    Plenty of adverbs don't change their form, like "tomorrow" or "even".
    – J.R.
    Apr 11, 2014 at 11:39

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