I wanted to ask if there is some kind of rule like:

He tore open the parcel

This is an example, as another example:

He banged shut the door

Is there a rule to add open/shut etc. after verbs to say that as a result of the action it occurred? Additionally, I didn't take the examples as phrasal verbs. Plus, I wrote the second sentence, it may be wrong but the first one is grammatically accurate certainly.

  • 1
    "He banged the door shut" is more idiomatic. We could also say "He tore the parcel open". I suppose the version you found treats tear open as a phrasal verb. May 30, 2021 at 8:36
  • Nouns are often possible in either place: you can say that you forced open the door, or that you forced the door open, but pronouns never go at the end - you can only say that you forced it open. May 30, 2021 at 11:47
  • How did you decide it's not a phrasal verb?
    – gotube
    May 30, 2021 at 23:21

2 Answers 2


He banged shut [the door].
He banged [the door] shut.

Both are correct.

Here is a very beautiful line consisting of similar construction from contemporary fiction genre:

The next moment she was grateful for the wind that had left Nelson Street and blown through the cane fields, banging shut the kitchen windows, so hard that they sprang open and struck the walls again, making their own echoes.
FROM - Bruised hibiscus by Elizabeth Nunez

He tore open [the parcel].
He tore [the parcel] open.

Here like the previous sentences both are correct.

In these cases shut and open are PARTICLES. Such Adjectival Particles are found in both idiomatic and non-idiomatic constructions.

Consider the following sentence -

He made [the boy] angry.

Here the adjective angry is not a Particle like open or shut as we saw in other examples earlier. And hence we can't say:

He made angry [the boy]. {INCORRECT]

Here angry is a Predicative Complement, and it is an object oriented Predicative Complement. And the predicand is the boy.

Just notice the word order: VERB + OBJECT + ADJECTIVE but never 'VERB + ADJECTIVE + OBJEC'T.

But when it is a Particle, both word order is possible. While Prepositional Particle are found in abundance, adjectival Particles are very limited.


If you are allowed to use an adjective at the end of a sentence, then you are also allowed to slide that adjective leftwards until the adjective is immediately to the right of a verb.

Suppose that adj is an adjective.

For any two noun phrases Nancy and Nathan, and for any past-tense verb Vervanized, one of the following sentences is grammatically correct if and only if the other sentence is grammatically correct:

  1. Nancy Vervanized Nathan adj
  2. Nancy Vervanized adj Nathan

Examples are shown below:

  • He tore open the parcel
  • He tore the parcel open

  • Sarah slammed shut the window
  • Sarah slammed the window shut

  • He ground even the axe
  • He ground the axe even

  • She made ready the water-skins
  • She made the water-skins ready

  • They made mean the dog
  • They made the dog mean

  • They made open the door
  • They made the door open

  • Joe fastened tight the rope
  • Joe fastened the rope tight

  • Jacob tried to even out the lettering on the bulletin board.
  • Jacob tried to even the lettering out on the bulletin board.
  • You must have tried to use column or some kind of formatting, but this is not working in my browser. But please note that in OP's sentences both open and shut are adjectives. Jun 7, 2021 at 14:29
  • 1
    "They made mean the dog" and "They made open the door" both sound very strange to me. I'm not sure if they're actually ungrammatical, but it's certainly a weird phrasing. Jun 7, 2021 at 14:47
  • @NucleaeHoagie they are certainly wrong. Please check my answer. I explained it there. Jun 7, 2021 at 15:24
  • @Man_From_India The English word open is BOTH an adjective and a verb. For example, in the sentence "Sarah tried to open the can of pineapple" the word open is a verb. In the sentence, "The open door seemed to invite William to take a look," the word "open" is an adjective. Why do you think that every English word is either an adjective, or not an adjective? Many English words can be used both as a verb or an adjective. Jun 7, 2021 at 23:53
  • Samuel, you are certainly right that in English open and close can both be a verb and an adjective. But what I am trying to say is that they are adjective in OP's sentences. I am a non native speaker, so I lack native intuition, so I can not surely say whether "tore open the wrappee" is old fashioned. But certainly correct. But "made open the door" is certainly wrong in today's English, and I think it is so in old English as well. As for why it is incorrect but the other is not, please take a look at my answer. Jun 8, 2021 at 0:13

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