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I saw this sentence being used on some websites "Flip open the first page of your book". I learnt that we should not use "Open the 2nd page of the book", instead we should use "Open the book to page 2 " or "Open the book at page 2". I am confused if "first page" has an exception or "Flip open" works for any page.

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  • You're right. It's sloppy English but perfectly understandable. Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 11:40
  • 'Flip open' is very casual and informal, and mainly American. Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 12:09
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    I’m voting to close this question because it's a pedantic peeve. Native Anglophones routinely say and understand Open page 8 of your exercise book Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 12:20

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No, it isn't correct. You don't 'open a page', you open a book. Further, the process of locating a page is normally referred to as 'turning to' a page.

You could say:

Open the book and turn to page 10.

That is idiomatic, but a bit long - you can't turn to a page without first opening the book. So you could just say:

Turn to page 10 of your book.

or

Look at page 10 of your book.

It would be difficult to open a book at the exact page you want, so there would normally be a process of turning to a page. However, because your example is the first page, it would be more reasonable to say open it 'at' that page.

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  • I have often heard "at the Xth page" or "at page X". Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 12:08
  • @MichaelHarvey It's usually "look at" or "turn to". I've updated my answer slightly.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 12:12
  • I meant you can say 'open your book at (e.g.) page 6' Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 12:14
  • @MichaelHarvey You could say that... but when you think about it, opening "at" a page would mean it magically falls open at the page you want. Some people might well say that, but I think my answer explains well why it could sound odd - except in this very specific example of the first page.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 12:16
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    If a teacher asked us to open our English book at page 29, we would pick up the book, open it at an arbitrary place, and then turn the pages forward or back until page 29 was exposed. That would be the whole act of 'opening at' a page. Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 12:45
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You could also say:

Open to the first page of your book.

or

Open to page X.

With open as the verb, I've always used to as the preposition.

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