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I am very confused.. I have always said

"The door was wide open"

But my English teacher says that it is:

"The door was widely open"

Which one is correct, and can you give me the reason why it is the correct one?

Daniel, Danish student
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Um.... not so sure there... Wide

wide as an adverb:
over a great distance or extent :<searched far and wide>
source :http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wide?show=1&t=1287131299

widely as an adverb:
over or through a wide area <has traveled widely>
source:http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widely

So wide = over a great distance, and widely = through a great area
Here's my take on it: "wide" is correct if its an adjective describing "door"

but "widely" should be used if as an adverb modifiying "open"

"the door was wide open" is incorrect b/c "wide" is being used to modify an adjective "open"

"I opened the door wide" is correct b/c "wide" is being used as an adjective modifying the noun "door"

(similarly: I painted my house blue. Sally built the sand castle tall. Babe Ruth knocked the ball out of the stadium. The dog eventually grew senile.)

"Open wide!" as said by many dentists may appear incorrect b/c "wide" is being used to modify the verb "open". however the dentist probably means "Open [your mouth] wide" and is using the word "wide" to modify the silent noun "your mouth". So "open widely" is, at first glance, technically the correct way, but "open wide" may have at least an argument that it is correct.
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Anonymous"I opened the door wide" is correct b/c "wide" is being used as an adjective modifying the noun "door"
No! A wide door is the opposite of a narrow door. It has to do with the dimension of the door from one side to the other. "I opened the door wide" does not mean that I opened the door so that its width was great, so "wide" does not modify "door".

CJ
Hi,

Most of the movies uses the sentences like

"The door was wide open"
It suits to ears the most, and it is also right.

Using wide open together in a sentence is usually hyphenated.

However, using widely open is also correct.

Hope my answer helps.

Regards,

Nidhi