開(ひら)く and 開(あ)ける both mean “to open.”
閉(と)じる and 閉(し)める both mean “to close.”
So what’s the difference between each?
開(ひら)く is to open something that is shut or folded. 閉(と)じる is the opposite.
open/close the book
open/close the gate
open/close the umbrella
開(あ)ける is to open something that is closed off. 閉(し)める is the opposite.
open/close the door
open/close the lid
open/close the shop
There are some situations where both are correct. For example, “to open a window” can be:
Both are correct, but it depends on the type of window you are opening or the reason. When you open the window for fresh air, it would be 窓を開ける because you’re opening something that is closed off.