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Dear teachers

What's the difference between cut back something and cut back on something?

A. My boss cut back my salary.

B. You should cut back on smoking.

C. She cut back my teaching hours.

D. We should cut back on the budget.

E. I started cutting back on (eating) fatty food.

F. We have to cut back on electricity and water to save more money.

Are the sentences above acceptable?

Thanks for your elucidating. Emotion: smile
1 2
Comments  
A: a prep is missing: on

B: OK

C. Same problem as in A

D: OK

E: OK:

F : OK

If there Is an object in the sentence, use the prep: on.
Inchoateknowledge
A: a prep is missing: on

If there Is an object in the sentence, use the prep: on.

Why? According to my dictionary (Oxford Advanced) both are ok and there's no difference in meaning (meaning no.1):

cut sth back

1 (also cut back (on sth)) to reduce sth:
If we don’t sell more we’ll have to cut back production.

To cut back on spending

2 to make a bush, etc. smaller by cutting branches off SYN prune:

To cut back a rose bush
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Tanit
InchoateknowledgeA: a prep is missing: on

If there Is an object in the sentence, use the prep: on.
Why? According to my dictionary (Oxford Advanced) both are ok and there's no difference in meaning (meaning no.1):

cut sth back
1 (also cut back (on sth)) to reduce sth:
If we don’t sell more we’ll have to cut back production.
To cut back on spending


2 to make a bush, etc. smaller by cutting branches off SYN prune:
To cut back a rose bush

Hi SAbs,

I live and learn.
Thanks for the correction
You're welcome, PV.
Davidrock65
Dear teachers

What's the difference between cut back something and cut back on something?

A. My boss cut back my salary.

B. You should cut back on smoking.

C. She cut back my teaching hours.

D. We should cut back on the budget.

E. I started cutting back on (eating) fatty food.

F. We have to cut back on electricity and water to save more money.

Are the sentences above acceptable?

Thanks for your elucidating. Emotion: smile

Hi David,

Here is my take:

A. My boss cut back my salary. Cut back here is not used in the proper context here. This sounds odd to me. Here is a couple of alternative to express the meaning of the sentence:

My boss cut my salary, (no “back”)

I received a pay cut.

B. You should cut back on smoking. - fine

C. She cut back my teaching hours. – same reason as [A]. No [back].

D. We should cut back on the budget. - ummm...ok.

We can apply the compound verb “cut back” on “spending”, “consumption” and “working hours" etc… Cut-back has the equivalent meaning of “reduce” which is the right verb for this context. We can say “ the budget got [scaled back]/ [cut] /[.reduced].

E. I started cutting back on (eating) fatty food. (eating) is not necessary, it’s implied. Otherwise, it’s fine.

F. We have to cut back on (the consumption of) electricity and water to save more money. Technically, it’s incorrect without (the consumption of).

when we use cut back in a sentence, it’s necessary to phrase it correctly to the context.

I.e. PG&E urged customers to cut back on using large appliances between during hot summer days to prevent brownouts.

Hpe it's helpful to you...Emotion: big smile

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Thanks Goodman

I have one more question

Is " My boss cut back my classes" acceptable? Why?

Thanks!
Thanks Goodman

You say "We can apply the compound verb “cut back” on “working hours" etc…"

So how come She cut back my teaching hours. is incorrect?

Thanks
Generally I would say you cut back nouns that involve action, and you cut back on participles and other nouns. (But it's a pretty fine line)

I cut back production
travel
exercise
consumption

I cut back on smoking
eating fatty foods

junk food
cigarettes

Do other people agree?

I agree with Goodman that other verb phrases might be more appropriate. "Cut down on fatty foods", "Cut the budget" for example.
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