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What is the difference in meaning between cut and cut up? For example:

Cut the bread into thin slices.

Cut up the bread into thin slices.

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  • In English you can cut down the tree, then cut up the tree.
    – puppetsock
    Feb 21 '20 at 21:03
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According to OALD:
cut sth up: to divide sth into small pieces with a knife, etc.

He cut up the meat on his plate.

As well as, one of the meanings of "to cut" is: to remove sth or a part of sth, using a knife, etc.

He cut four thick slices from the loaf.

Thus, it seems when one exercise "cut sth up", they are emphasizing on dividing on small pieces. whereas one uses "to cut", they are taking concentration on "removing sth"

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