rip something open

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Vronsky

Senior Member
Russian - Russia
Hi there,
The following is from the Longman Dictionary, the item "rip"

to tear something or be torn quickly and violently:
Impatiently, Sue ripped the letter open.

Could you tell me what "open" means here? Does it mean that she opened the letter impatiently?
Thanks.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    She opened the letter by tearing it quickly and violently.

    She steamed the letter open - she opened the letter, using steam.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Open" is the opposite of "closed".

    Letters are like packages, you cannot retrieve the contents unless you make an opening.

    Nothing whatsoever is implied about violence, etc.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    open (adv) means to change the state of something to provide accessibility. It matters not whether it's a seam, a parachute, a door, a book -- or the fly on your trousers so you can urinate.

    It might or might not have anything to do with "rip."

    You seem to be confused by trying to tie "rip" and "open" together.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Let's say that 'rip open' can also suggest opening something tightly closed, by accident, involuntarily.
    I rip envelopes open because I'm impatient and can't be bothered with a paper knife.
    Stitches closing a surgical wound can be 'ripped open'.
    "I laughed so much that my stitches ripped open."
     
    Last edited:

    Vronsky

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    Thank you so much.

    I was confused about definition 'open' as a part of speech in "to rip a letter open." I thought 'open' was a verb.
     
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