I would like to know the difference between these words, please write some example sentences.

  • 7
    Possible Duplicate: ひらく / とじる vs. あける / しめる
    – Flaw
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 15:52
  • ^That link is helpful but I don't think it answers the question. Unless I'm missing something it just says that the two are used differently without saying why. Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 16:07
  • @user3856370 I rather think the accepted answer in that link tells sufficiently how and why they're different, and becomes a superset of what needs to be answered here. Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 16:41
  • @broccoliforest Your right. I guess I was getting confused with how you know when to use あく or あける for example when they can both be transitive and intransitive. Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


As in Flaw's comment, あく is intransitive and ひらく can be both. The transitive form of あく is 開ける(あける). And don't confuse 開くwith 空く(あく)which means to become vacant.


開く(あく)to be opened

その店は開く This shop is opened

開く(ひらく)to open

私は窓を開く I open a window

  • 2
    It seems your answer tries to distinguish them by transitivity. However, ひらく can be transitive or intransitive while あく is intransitive.
    – Flaw
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 15:54

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