'Close' or 'Closed'? What Is the Difference? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 30 January 2024)

Close vs Closed: Understanding the Difference

Close and closed are two words that often cause confusion among English learners. In this blog post, we will explore their differences and provide example sentences to help you use them correctly.

What Does Close Mean?

Close can function as a verb, a noun, or an adjective. In this post, we will focus only on its verb and adjective forms.

As a verb, close (/kləʊz/) (past tense: closed (/kləʊzd/)) typically means 'to shut', 'to end', or 'to stop operating':

Please close the window; it's getting chilly in here.

Anna closed her eyes and took a deep breath to calm herself.

The meeting will close at 5 p.m. sharp.

After the party, they decided to close the business for the day.

The shop will close at 9 p.m., so make sure you finish your shopping before then.

As an adjective, close (/kləʊs/) means 'nearby' or 'within reach'. It can refer to physical proximity or an emotional connection:

Keep your keys close so that you won't lose them.

We sat close to the doors for easy access when getting off the train.

✅ The supermarket is close to where I live.

✅ My brother and I have a close relationship.

I hold my family close to my heart.

What Does Closed Mean?

Closed (/kləʊzd/) can be the past tense form of the verb close, but it can also function as an adjective. As an adjective, closed means 'not open'. Confusion often arises when people intend to describe something as not open, which requires the use of the adjective closed, but they mistakenly use the word close instead. Consider the following example sentence:

✒ The supermarket is close.

This sentence means that the supermarket is nearby. If this is the intended meaning, then close is the correct word to use. However, if you mean to say that the supermarket is not open for business, then you need to use closed:

✅ The supermarket is closed.

The entry for the adjective closed in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Remember, if you want to describe something as nearby, use the adjective close, but if you want to describe something as shut or not open, then the word you need is closed. Here are some example sentences to illustrate the correct usage:

Please keep the fire door closed.
Please keep the fire door close.

The restaurant is closed on Sundays.
The restaurant is close on Sundays.

The gates to the park were closed due to maintenance.
The gates to the park were close due to maintenance.

The library is closed for renovations until next month.
The library is close for renovations until next month.

The shop had a sign that said 'Closed for the day' on the door.
The shop had a sign that said 'Close for the day' on the door.

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Examples from the Media

The Taj Mahal is closed Fridays and open every other day from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes before sunset. The Sydney Morning Herald (2019)

Infected coronavirus particles from a cough can swirl around inside a lift for up to half an hour if the doors are kept closed, according to a new study. Daily Mail (2020)

In one of D.C.'s most expensive, heavily forested residential neighborhoods, power was out and streets were closed—blocked by storm debris or crammed with emergency vehicles that made it difficult to walk down streets crowded with million-dollar homes. —The Washington Post (2023)

On Monday, some businesses and services will be closed to the public due to Family Day 2022. —Toronto Star (2022)

A 22-metre curtain waterfall and the largest of the falls in the area, Webster Falls is located in the historic village of Dundas and is close to many hikes, green spaces and adorable restaurants. —Toronto Sun (2022)

While the 17-year-olds say they are very close and they have enjoyed being at school together, they are each looking forward to carving out their own paths. —Otago Daily Times (2017)


Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.

1. The restaurant is close/closed to our hotel, so we can easily walk there for dinner.

2. We'll have to visit another day because the shop is close/closed on Fridays.

3. The hotel swimming pool is close/closed for maintenance until next week.

4. I requested a room close/closed to the beach so that I can enjoy the ocean view.

5. I apologise for the inconvenience, but we are close/closed for a staff training session.

6. My sister and I are very close/closed. We share everything with each other.

7. The shopping centre is close/closed to the bus stop, so you can conveniently take a bus there.

Answer Key

1. close    2. closed    3. closed    4. close    5. closed    6. close    7. close

Real-World Examples of Misuse

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