Close or Shut?

You can use the verbs close and shut to mean the same thing, but shut is less formal than close. Shut is an irregular verb. Its past tense and past participle forms are the same as the present tense.
  • to shut – he shuts – he shut – he has shut

Most of the time, close and shut are interchangeable.
  • Please close/shut the door behind you.
  • Who closed/shut the kitchen window?
  • She closed/shut her book and put it in her bag.
  • She closed/shut her eyes and went to sleep.

We can use close or shut to mean to stop being open for business.
  • The bank closes/shuts at 5.
  • What time does the shop close/shut?

However, in a few cases, we have to choose one or the other.                                                         
When we are talking about ending a discussion, activity, or event, we always use close.
  • He closed the meeting by thanking everyone for attending.
  • The police decided to close the case.

Close, but not shut, is used to talk about making the distance or difference smaller.
  • The government attempts to close the gap between rich and poor.

Closed or shut?

Closed and shut are adjectives and mean not open. The adjective shut cannot go before a noun.
  • a closed door
  • a shut door
  • a closed umbrella
  • a shut umbrella
  • All the doors and windows were closed/shut.
  • The bank is closed/shut at the weekend.
  • This road is closed in winter. Shut is not used for roads and airports.
  • The airport is closed due to heavy snow.


As an adjective close means near in space or time. For example, our house is close to the beach.

Closed vs Shut