IncinerateTo incinerate something is to completely consume it using heat, or to burn it up. The word incinerate is most often associated with burning something that results in only ashes.
Ex: One of my favorite things about sitting around a campfire is to watch the logs change from their original state. The flames incinerate the wood until nothing but ashes remain.
Ex: The laser was able to completely incinerate all types of substances, and the doctors watching the demonstration could not help but be amazed.
When a body is incinerated after death, it is called cremation. In the practice of cremation, one is usually given their love ones ashes to keep or scatter as they see fit.
Ex: A friend of mine sells cremation services to people who wish to make their funeral arrangements before they die. He has been quite successful at it, and it gives his clients a peace of mind.
Ex: After my grandfather's cremation, his ashes were scattered at sea, in remembrance of his long and successful naval career.
Break ApartIf something breaks apart, it is separated into pieces, it is no longer whole. Break apart is normally used when something is separated into larger pieces, rather than exploding.
Ex: There is nothing like eating warm biscuits fresh from the oven. All-butter shortbread, especially, is great to break apart and eat along with a glass of milk.
Ex: In order to move this table to our new house, we are going to have to break apart the legs and then reassemble it once it is moved.
To shatter something is to separated it into very small pieces, to smash or break it completely, like shattered glass.
Ex: I was so upset when I dropped one of the plates that belonged to my greatgrandmother while cleaning up after our meal. It is shattered and there is no way to repair it.
Ex: Windshields are treated with a special process so that in the event of an accident, the glass does not shatter onto the passengers, causing potential injury.