Close vs. Shut

Close and shut can often be used with the same meaning.

  • She closed/shut her eyes against the light.
  • All the shops were closed/shut, so I couldn’t buy anything.
  • The shop closes/shuts at seven o’clock.
  • Could you close/shut the windows, please?
  • Close/shut your eyes – I have a surprise for you.

The past participles closed and shut can be used as adjectives.

  • The shop is closed/shut on Sundays.

Note that the past participle shut cannot be used before a noun. We can say a closed shop or door, but not a shut shop or door.

Cases where close is preferred

We prefer close for slow movements.


  • As we watched, he closed his eyes for the last time.
  • Shut your mouth.

Reference: Practical English Usage by Michael Swan, Oxford University Press.

Cloth vs. Clothes

Cloth is the material used for making clothes. Examples are wool, cotton, silk etc. Clothes means garments – things you wear on your body.

  • Her clothes are all made of expensive cloth.
  • Woolen clothes are the best in summer.

Clothes has no singular. We say an article/ a piece of clothing, but not a cloth.

  • I must buy a piece of clothing. I have nothing to wear.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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