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Look at the above picture,

If the space is A, we say "open the door a crack", can we say "close the door a crack" in this position?

If the space is B, we say "open the door a little", can we say "close the door a little" in this position?

If the space is C, do you say "open the door by half", can we say "close the door by half" in this position?

If the space is D, do you say "open the door to the full/ fullest"?

Note: space D is the biggest and bigger than C. C is bigger than B and B is bigger than A.

  • I assume "different" is what you meant by "dissident" (a dissident is political opponent of a dictatorship)
    – James K
    Commented May 5 at 5:21
  • Open the door all the way.
    – TimR
    Commented May 5 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


The only idioms are "crack" and "wide"

You can open the door a crack, or you can crack a door open. In both cases it means that the door only slightly open. You can also use this for windows etc. A door which is open a crack allows sound and some air to pass, but is too narrow for a person.

There is a word "ajar" that means "slightly open", and is used almost exclusively to describe doors.

Leave the door ajar, so air can circulate.

And "open a door wide" means fully open. You can also say "the door is wide open". A door which is wide open offers no obstruction to entrance or exit.

If you want to close the door you could "leave a crack". For example you could say "Push the door to, but leave a crack so I can hear what you are doing." If you want a bit more than a crack you could "leave the door open a little".

There aren't particular idioms (that I can think of) for other positions. But you are free to use normal descriptions like "A little" or "about halfway" or "by 20 cm". There is no special use of English, just words with their normal meanings.

Don't close the door completely but leave it half open

  • How about 'ajar'? Commented May 6 at 3:21
  • "Ajar" is good.
    – James K
    Commented May 6 at 11:48
  • There is more elegant expressions I found. For example, “Please close the door halfway,” “Please shut the door halfway,” “Please push the door so it's halfway closed,” “Please push the door partly shut but halfway open.”
    – Tom
    Commented May 6 at 15:27
  • You may say "elegant", I find those "wordy", and tbh, if you are that picky about the exact position of the door I'd tell you go and position it yourself!
    – James K
    Commented May 6 at 15:33

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