Down, off, up ... etc as an adverb


I have some questions on some adverbs in bold below:

The government sent troops to break off the strike. (to stop the strike)
Did he catch up on some sleep on the plane? (to get some sleep)
I should cut down my living expenses. (to reduce my living expenses)

I think the three bold expressions like off, up on, and down can be omitted and the sentences do make sense. The actual meanings I want to express are in the parentheses. Anyway, the bold expressions seems to make the meanings more clear.

What do you think? Do you think they make sense without the expressions in bold? I wonder what you think on them.

Thank you in advance,


Yes, I agree with you on all three of these examples. In fact, I think for the strike it sounds better without the “off”. The troops would “break the strike”. If the union or the group organizing the strike decided to stop striking, that is when “break off the strike” would be more appropriate.

“catch some sleep” sounds pretty informal, but is still very natural.

To me, “cut down on my living expenses” is more natural, or “cut my living expenses”.

Also: I wonder what you think of/about them.


Thank you very much, Luschen. Your answer helped me a lot!!!


I would suggest ‘break up the strike’.