Opening and closing the door 21 Mayıs 2013

In English we have several phrases that use the word ‘door’.  These are metaphors (ideas expressed in a picture).  The three metaphors we will look at today are, ‘to open the door’, ‘to close the door’ and ‘to leave the door open’.  In these metaphors the door or doors usually symbolize a possible opportunity in life.  Below are the meanings of each expression and examples of how they are used:

1) ‘To open the door’ - This means to look for a new opportunity.  An example of its usage is, ‘We have opened the door to new business partners’.  This means that the company in question is actively looking for new people to work with.

2) ‘To close the door’ - This means that the possibility of looking for a new opportunity or idea has ended.  An example of its usage is, ‘We have closed the door on the idea of buying new offices’.  In other words, buying new offices is no longer possible.

3) ‘To leave the door open’ - This means that currently we cannot find what we are looking for, but we are not ready to stop looking.  If something comes along that fits with our needs then we are ready to explore this opportunity.  An example of this usage is, ‘Although we cannot find a new partner at the moment, we have left the door open’.   This means that we haven’t found the new partner we were looking for, but we are open to the possibility of a new partner, if we find someone suitable in the future.


Image courtesy of Idea go at