10

I've been reading a text from the book 1100 words you need to know.

Week 6 Day 1. The text is about an invention - an umbrella substitute. In this text, there is a passage where the word "open" is used but I don't understand its meaning. Is it a noun? Is it a verb? Or is it an idiom?

When a person is caught in a sudden rainstorm, he swings the plastic strip open in a shape of a cross

The person already "swings" and what "open" is doing here?

Online source (The original book says the same)

20

The word "open" here is NOT a verb. "To swing something open" is a verb phrase. In your case. it means he swings the plastic strip in a way that it makes the plastic strip open. To swing is the main verb, and open is the state the plastic strip is in after the action of swinging it.

  • 8
    Yes, just like you can kick a door open or I guess kick it closed. – AbraCadaver Oct 11 at 13:50
  • 5
    So, open is an adjective in that phrase. – Jeffrey supports Monica Oct 11 at 15:20
  • 1
    Yes. You can think of it as the state the object is in after the action (the verb). – John Zhau Oct 12 at 5:48
  • 1
    I would say that in this usage, "to swing [something] open" is a phrasal verb: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrasal_verb – Glenn Willen Oct 12 at 19:19
  • Thank you, Glenn. I know what a phrasal verb is. Actually, I've got a book on Phrasal Verbs i.postimg.cc/BnhDK1t1/IMG-8976.jpg The problem is that I didn't find it on this book. Then googled but still was not sure about it. That's why I opened this thread – Carlos Florian Oct 13 at 4:04
-2

The word "open" should be "into the open position". Similarly, we'd return an umbrella to the closed position when the rain stops.

I'd say this is mostly an idiomatic usage.

  • 3
    It certainly means “into the open position”. But this usage is completely standard, so I don’t think it’s right to suggest that it “should be” anything other than what it is. – PLL Oct 12 at 12:47
  • So, basically, it means "to make sth open", right? – Carlos Florian Oct 12 at 14:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.