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  1. #1
    EnglishUserUK is offline Newbie
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    Default Cut Down + Nothing or On

    Hi,

    I have a question about the phrasal verb 'cut down'.

    Why do we sometimes say cut down + the thing being cut down and other times use the preposition 'on'?

    Examples:
    Cut down trees/ cut down chocolate intake/ cut down noise/ cut down a person/ cut down the salary.

    Cut down on speed/ cut down on calories/ cut down on drinking (alcohol)/ cut down on the time allowed.

    I must say that I am quite confused.

    Thanks guys! :)

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishUserUK View Post
    Hi,

    I have a question about the phrasal verb 'cut down'.

    Why do we sometimes say cut down + the thing being cut down and other times use the preposition 'on'?

    Examples:
    Cut down trees/ cut down chocolate intake/ cut down noise/ cut down a person/ cut down the salary.

    Cut down on speed/ cut down on calories/ cut down on drinking (alcohol)/ cut down on the time allowed.

    I must say that I am quite confused.

    Thanks guys! :)
    Please give your correct location and native language in your profile.

  3. #3
    EnglishUserUK is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Please give your correct location and native language in your profile.
    Why would you think I am lying about these details?

    I came to this site to ask a genuine question.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishUserUK View Post
    Why would you think I am lying about these details?
    I have no idea why you would lie. However your profile says that your current location is England. It is not, which makes us wonder about the other information.

  5. #5
    EnglishUserUK is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    I use a VPN service to connect to the internet that dynamically changes my IP address, to ensure that I maintain my personal privacy online.

    I have altered the setting for my service to give me a British IP address. Hopefully this will be OK for you.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishUserUK View Post
    I use a VPN service to connect to the internet that dynamically changes my IP address, to ensure that I maintain my personal privacy online.

    I have altered the setting for my service to give me a British IP address. Hopefully this will be OK for you.
    OK. So, what is your native language?

  7. #7
    EnglishUserUK is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    OK. So, what is your native language?
    I was brought up in a bilingual household, with English as one of the languages.

    I have never been educated in a language other than English.

    I consider it to be my native language.

  8. #8
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishUserUK View Post
    Hi,

    I have a question about the phrasal verb 'cut down'.

    Why do we sometimes say cut down + the thing being cut down and other times use the preposition 'on'?

    Examples:
    Cut down trees/ cut down chocolate intake/ cut down noise/ cut down a person/ cut down the salary.

    Cut down on speed/ cut down on calories/ cut down on drinking (alcohol)/ cut down on the time allowed.

    I must say that I am quite confused.

    Thanks guys! :)
    With trees, we actually cut them down.
    We cut down (reduce) on/my/our chocolate intake.
    We cut down on noise.
    We cut down (figuratively) a person.
    We cut salaries. (down is redundant)

    Your second set is all correct,

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    We ask that your information be correct for a few reasons. Spammers usually give false information. Taking the time to give correct information (that matches your IP) tells us you are less likely to start trying to hawk your NFL jerseys or knock-off Dior handbags.

    Telling us your original language helps us help you. Articles are harder for some learners, tenses for others.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
    EnglishUserUK is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Cut Down + Nothing or On

    Thanks Mike! :)

    (Are you sure about trees though? Aren't 'I cut trees down for a living' and 'I cut down trees for a living' are both correct?)

    Do you know of any rules that can be applied to this situation?

    I tried Google, but couldn't find anything relevant.

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