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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. Welcome back to Know Your Verbs. In this episode, we're going to talk about the verb, "open." Let's go.
Let's look at the basic definition for this verb. The basic definition is to move something so that it is not in a closed position, to open something. So, examples. "Open the door." "It's hot in here. You should open a window."
Okay, let's look at the conjugations for this verb. Present: "open," "opens." Past: "opened." Past participle: "opened." Progressive: "opening."
Now, let's talk about some additional meanings for this verb. First one, the first additional meaning is to remove from a container, a part of a container, to reveal something. Some examples of this. "Open your birthday presents." "This box is really hard to open." In both of these, we're talking about revealing something from inside a package or inside a container. In the first one, the first example sentence, I said, "Open your birthday presents," meaning reveal your birthday presents. They're in a bag or in a box or something. So, open the box, open the container to reveal what's inside. In the second one, "This box is really hard to open," means this container, this box, in this case, is difficult to remove the top from or difficult to get to the inside. "It's difficult to open this box."
The second additional meaning is to be ready, as in to be ready for business or to be ready for service. Some examples. "I think the department store is opening right now," "The cafe opens at 9 a.m." This use of "open" refers to the time that a business or a service starts. In the first example sentence, I said, "I think the department store is opening right now." In that case, I'm using the progressive or the continuous tense, "The department store is opening right now." We would use "opening" only in very specific situations where, for example, we are standing in front of the department store and we can see the staff unlocking the door or maybe opening the doors. So, we can see the staff actually opening the shop to customers. That process of unlocking doors or maybe pulling up the blinds, the curtains, that process is called opening the store. In that case, if we're seeing that process happen, we can say, "I think the department store is opening right now," and that's maybe one of the only cases where we would use the progressive tense of this verb.
In the second sentence, "The cafe opens at 9:00 a.m." It means the cafe starts its business at 9:00 a.m. We use "opens" to do that instead though.
Let's go to the third, meaning three for this verb is to make something on the computer ready. So, the second meaning was to make something ready a business or a service, we can also use this for computers, things on computers. Examples: "I couldn't open the file you sent," "Can you open the slideshow, please." Both of these mean opening something, preparing something on a computer. So, a file, we could use it for software if you want as well. You could use it for email, like "Open your email," whatever. Anytime you need to prepare something on a computer and start that thing or you need to look at like a new document, you need to look at a webpage or whatever, you can use the word, "open" to describe that. "Open your browser," "open a web page," "open a file." All of these we can use the word, "open" too.
The fourth additional meaning for this lesson is to begin an activity, to begin an activity. This typically refers to activities where people gather for something. Let's look at some examples. "She opened the conference with an inspiring speech," "I'd like to open today's meeting by thanking you all for attending." In these sentences, we're using "open" to mean start or I'd like to begin something by. The first example sentence was "She opened the conference with an inspiring speech," meaning she began the conference. That means, "she," as the first item of business, I suppose, in the conference, the first thing she did was give an inspiring speech. That was the start of the conference, the beginning of the activity that is the conference. "She opened the conference with an inspiring speech." Same thing in the second sentence, "I'd like to open today's meeting by thanking you all for attending." So, "I'd like to," "I would like to open," meaning, I would like to begin today's meeting or the first thing I would like to do in today's meeting is say thank you. So, "open" means starting the activity by doing something.
Let's go along to a couple of variations of this verb. Now, the first variation is "to open someone's eyes." This does not literally mean to walk over to someone and physically open their eyes. I suppose you could do that like open your brother's eyes. That's sort of weird. That's not really an expression that we have. This expression, "to open someone's eyes," though, means to make someone realize something, something they didn't realize before. It was kind of shocking or surprising, something like that. Examples. "You really opened my eyes to how delicious Thai food is," "I think the experience of planning a big event really opened his eyes to how difficult it is." In both of these examples sentences, the speaker or someone involved in the sentence, was caused to realize something and we use the expression, "open your eyes" or "to open someone's eyes," meaning to cause them to realize something special.
The second variation I want to talk about is "to open up." "To open up" means to share your feelings or to share your emotions, to talk about yourself, to open up to people. That's often what we say like, "Ah, I wish you would open up to me," that sort of thing. Examples of this. "I wish you would open up and tell me about yourself," "It's really hard for her to open up before she trusts people." So, "open up, "to open up" means to share yourself, to be relaxed and be able to easily talk about yourself and talk about your emotions. We don't have--actually, we do have the opposite, "closed down." Like, "Oh, no. She closed down," like she stopped sharing about herself. So, "open up" would mean to share openly, the opposite would be "to close down." So, "opening up" typically, at least in Western culture, is regarded as quite a positive thing to be able to share about yourself and to have kind of enough trust established with another person that you can be open to use it as an adjective.
Those are a few variations and a few different meanings of the verb, "open." I hope that you learned a few new things and maybe you can use these in your everyday life to. Of course, if you have any questions, if you know a different way to use the verb, "open, please let us know in the comments as well.
Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and I'll see you again soon. Bye-bye.