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I would like to know if "the doors closed on him" is correct here:

He got in the elevator and pressed a button. Before the doors closed on him, she said "I love you".

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  • Yes, correct. Can you add some more details. What about this expression is surprising or confusing for you. Why did you doubt that it would be grammatical?
    – James K
    Mar 18 at 21:33
  • It's vague because I'm not sure if he's in the elevator or trapped between the doors. Mar 18 at 21:38
  • The meaning of closed on depends on the context. Your sentence suggests that the doors closed in front of him. But if you had said that the doors closed on his foot, we would understand that the doors had trapped his foot. If you wanted to avoid any doubt, you could say that the doors closed behind/in front of him. (The buyers closed on the house, on the other hand, would mean that they signed a purchase contract. And the police closed on the thief would mean that they neared the thief.) Mar 19 at 0:10
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"close on somebody" means that the person is nearing something/someone that is already moving ahead of them.

Here, you are saying that the door is closing on him; but, he is already inside the elevator and not nearing the elevator. So, I would say, this is not correct, considering the context. It could be,

Before the doors closed on her, she said "I love you"

provided, she was rushing towards the elevator, as it was closing.

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