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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
1 2
Comments  
"The door was wide open" sounds right to my ears but I do not know if it is correct.

I have been corrupted by a lifetime of input from American English speakers.

I just grabbed this from the Microsoft Bookshelf CD-ROM dictionary:

wide-open (wìd´o´pen) adjective

1. Completely open: a wide-open door.
2. Being without laws or law enforcement: a wide-open frontier town.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from InfoSoft International, Inc. All rights reserved.

I have never seen wide-open used this way, connected by a hyphon, but it suggests that your teacher could be wrong?

Emotion: smile

Edit:

I just copied this text from the same CD-ROM.
It suggests to me that "The door was open wide" could also be correct.

I still feel that "The door was widely open" sounds wrong.

wide (wìd) adjective
wider, widest
1. a.
Abbr. w.. Having a specified extent from side to side: a ribbon two inches wide. b. Extending over a great distance from side to side; broad: a wide road; a wide necktie.
2. Having great extent or range; including much or many: a wide selection; granting wide powers; wide variations.
3. Fully open or extended: look with wide eyes.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

another edit:

- wide´ly adverb

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Dunno.
I am totally confused now.Emotion: smile
The door was widely open is absolutely correct. It needs an adverb there, which is widely. hope this helps.
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I found out myself..

It's right that an adverb is needed, but I also found out that wide and widely are both adverbs. It's an exception..

But thanks anyway..
Hi Zaff,

You are correct that both 'wide' and 'widely' are the adverbs of the adjective 'wide'. But it does not mean that they can be used interchangeably.
The word 'wide' when used as an adverb means wide, as fully as possible, e.g. He stood with his legs wide apart.
The adverb 'widely' on the other hand means by a lot of people, to a large degree, a lot, e.g. Her books are widely read.
So the sentence 'The door is wide open' is indeed the correct one.

HTH
Hi Trellis,

When two-word adjectives are in 'attributive position' (placed before nouns), they are usually hyphenated; that is why 'a wide-open door'.
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Thanks for the clarification. Emotion: smile
'The door was widely open' sounds strange.
'The door was wide-open' sounds good to me.
The door was opened wide/widely. Shouldn't it come after the verb?
Oops, maybe I'm complicating things!
Emotion: smile
I think WIDE OPEN is used as an idiom in this case, I know I am too late in this forum but hope someone does not get confused
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