Close /klauz/ and shut can often be used with the same meaning.
- Open your mouth and close/shut your eyes.
- I can’t close/shut the window. Can you help me?
- The shop closes/shuts at five o’clock.
You can shut, but not close, somebody/something in or out of a place.
- I shut the letters in my desk drawer and locked it. (NOT
I closed the letters …)
- She shut him out of the house.
The past participles closed and shut can be used as adjectives.
- The post office is closed/shut on Saturday afternoon.
Shut is not usually used before a noun.
- a closed door (NOT
a shut door)
- closed eyes (NOT
Cases where close is preferred
We prefer close for slow movements (like flowers closing at night), and close is more common in a formal style.
- As we watched, he closed his eyes for the last time.
- Close your mouth, please. (dentist to patient)
- Shut your mouth! (a rude way of saying ‘Be quiet!’)
- We close roads, railways etc (channels of communication). And we close (= end) letters, bank accounts, meetings etc.