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What's the correct construction? Example sentences:

I didn't start the watching machine (up).

The washing machine is spinning. Who started it (up)?

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When talking about devices or machines, as far as I know, both start and start up can be used interchangeably:

Go and start the car, I'll be there in a moment.
Go and start up the car, I'll be there in a moment.

My pad won't start. Can you fix it?
My pad won't start up. Can you fix it?

There may be idiomatic exceptions, but I can't think of any. However because "start up" means "get running", you don't normally use "start up" with things like events.

The race is scheduled to start at ten.

Unless you mean to imply that you want to get things going

Welcome to the tenth national gathering of the English Learners' Society! Let's get things started up by singing our theme song!

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