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Hi,

I am just wondering whether all these 'off' 'up' 'down' etc (adverbs) after 'verbs' or 'verb + object 's are indicating directions of actions.

Examples,

(1) Do you want me to cut it (e.g. A4 papers, passport photos) up for you?

/*

Here, would you be able to say without 'up'? and also what's difference between 'cut it off' and 'cut it up'?

*/

(2) Can you open the image up?

/*

Here, native speakers as far as I notice they are more likely to say like this instead of just 'open' or 'close'. (e.g. 'open it up' or 'close it down')

So on a plane, when you need to put something into the cabinet, is it correct say ' can you open down the cabinet? Because I can't reach it', or do you still say 'open it up'?

*/

(3) I'll finish up the assignment by next week <=> I'll finish off the assignment by next week

/*

Here, are they interchangeable? or is there any difference in the meaning here?

*/

Thanks in advance.
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off can indicate detachment or separation of a smaller part from a larger body.

The leaves fell off the trees.
There was a thread hanging from my shirt cuff, so I cut it off.
The perfume gives off a sweet smell.
The wheels fell off the wagon.
I popped the cap off the bottle.

With verbs of separating, up can indicate multiple, repetitive action and (more-or-less) complete reduction to pieces.

Can you help me chop up these vegetables?
Please break up these chunks of cheese into small pieces.
The cat has ripped up the curtains again.
When my credit card expires, I cut it up.
Thomas accidentally tore up his paycheck!

CJ
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These things rarely relate to physical direction.

1. cut it - fairly neutral about the type of cutting

cut it up - cut into several pieces

cut it off - cut one part away from the rest

2) not related to physical direction. You open or open up. You don't open down.

3) Same meaning. Probably. I suppose finish up could mean that may or may not have started the assignment yet. Finish off definitely only means that you have started it.
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Comments  
finish up - put the final touches on

finish off an assignment - put a bullet through its ugly head? - This sounds a little strange to me.
(finish off can mean kill, particularly a person or animal which is already fatally wounded. Emotion: smile )

finish off the chicken - eat the last piece of chicken (or, in slang, kill the chicken!)

CJ
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