開く・空く

TunS

Senior Member
English - Ireland
Hello,

I was just wondering which of the following verbs would be best to say, "Are you open tomorrow?" (refering to a shop etc..).

明日は空いていますか。
明日は開いていますか。

Thanks in advance. :)
 
Last edited:
  • Ocham

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    開いていますか fits in this context. 空いていますか sounds as if you said
    "Are you available ...?" But we are more likely to say 明日はやっていま
    すか for "Are you open tomorrow?"
     

    Morrow

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    (1) Are you open tomorrow?" (referring to a shop etc..).
    (2) a. 明日は空(あ/す)いていますか。
    b. 明日は開(あ)いていますか。

    If someone utters (2b), Japanese people will understand "開いている" means "営業している(doing business)," so (2b) is the possible counterpart of (1).

    It may be helpful to associate "開" with "open": something is open to you, and as a result, you can gain access to the service that "that something (a store, shop, restaurant and the like)" provides.

    On the other hand, it could be useful to connect "空" with "empty" in mind: there is an empty space in something, and therefore, "that something" can accomodate someone or something else.

    You may hear (3a) when someone is asking about your schedule, meaning "Are you free tomorrow?" You could also hear it when someone is making a reservation:
    (3) a.明日は空(あ)いていますか。
    b. Do you have an X available for tomorrow?

    If you replace "an X" in (3b) with "a room <hotel>," "a table <restaurant>," or "a ticket <theater/plane>," the resulting sentence might work as the counterpart of (3a).

    When you read "空いて" as "すいて," however, the idea is rather closer to the idea of sparsity.

    (4) a.もう空(す)いたの?(Are you hungry already?)
    b. 今日の首都高(しゅと+こう=首都+高速道路)は比較的空(す)いている. (Today, traffic on the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway is relatively light.)
    c. 今日はレストランが空(す)いている. (Today, the restaurant is sparsely populated.)

    Morrow

    The intended meaning of "空いている" in (ia) is actually "free" or "vacant."
    (i) a. この席は空(あ)いていますか?
       b. Is this seat taken?
     
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