divide up the food / divide out the food

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Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin

Tomorrow I'm Dead: A Memoir - by Bun Yom
At eight in the morning, I went to the warehouse and got food in a semitruck. Along with seven other workers, we divided up the food and gave it to the lines of people. After we divided food, we talked with friends. Then we went to the ...

1. we divided up the food and gave it to...
2. we divided out the food and gave it to...

Are "divide up" and "divide out" same here? I heard "divide up" more often.

Thank you.
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I've never heard "divide out" or "share out". As The Newt says, "portion out" and "parcel out" are fine.
    Well you're an American, which might account for it. Round me, we regularly share out. We don't do a lot of parcelling out, though.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Note that in ridgemao's quotation it was "we divided up the food and gave it to the lines of people".

    'Share out' (by far the commonest in my vocabulary) combines the two actions of dividing up and giving out.
    So the sentence would then be "we shared out the food among the lines of people".

    By my reckoning, the same would apply to other expressions with "out" (whether portioning or parcelling or dividing), so my answer to ridgemao's question would be:
    No, "divide up" and "divide out" aren't the same.

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