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  1. #1
    itecompro is offline Newbie
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    Question You can not to go there!?

    Hi there.

    Can someone please tell me how I can turn the following sentence into a negative sentence?

    "You can go there."

    I do know "You can not go there" is my answer, but I need to make it negative on the verb "go" not on "can".
    Is it correct to say "You can not to go there"?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    Quote Originally Posted by itecompro View Post
    Hi there.

    Can someone please tell me how I can turn the following sentence into a negative sentence?

    "You can go there."

    I do know "You can not go there" is my answer, but I need to make it negative on the verb "go" not on "can".
    Is it correct to say "You can not to go there"?

    Thanks in advance.
    The only correct opposite of "You can go there" is "You cannot go there". Note that "cannot" is one word.
    To use the negative of "to go", you would only be able to say:
    You go there.
    You don't go there.

    You cannot turn "You can go there" into the negative without using the word "cannot".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    If you wish to convey a different message, you can say, "It is possible for you not to go". In speech, where timing and stress help, it is possible to say, with the same meaning as my first suggestion, "You can not go". This would be said almost as if 'not' and 'go' were hyphenated.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    The only correct opposite of "You can go there" is "You cannot go there". Note that "cannot" is one word.
    To use the negative of "to go", you would only be able to say:
    You go there.
    You don't go there.

    You cannot turn "You can go there" into the negative without using the word "cannot".
    ems, are you saying "You can not go" is wrong? That's the first I've heard of this (that I remember).

    Here's another opinion: Cannot or Can Not?

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    This question is obviously trickier than it seems.
    "You can go" (versus "you MUST go") already has an option of "not going" built into it. You can go if you want, but you don't have to.

    So the opposite, in my opinion, is "you cannot go."

    If you asked about the opposite of "you must go" it could be two things. Is the "opposite" of an obligation to do something a) The OPTION of doing it (or not), or b) The prohibition against doing it?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    This question is obviously trickier than it seems.
    "You can go" (versus "you MUST go") already has an option of "not going" built into it. You can go if you want, but you don't have to.

    So the opposite, in my opinion, is "you cannot go."

    If you asked about the opposite of "you must go" it could be two things. Is the "opposite" of an obligation to do something a) The OPTION of doing it (or not), or b) The prohibition against doing it?
    That's all true. But we don't have single words for the negations of other modal verbs (maynot, shouldnot, mustnot), and I don't think we suffer.
    So what is the negative of "You may go"? - "You may not go". Logically, the same confusion should arise by not using a special word 'maynot', in which "You maynot go" would mean "You aren't allowed to go" and "You may not go" would mean "You don't have to go".

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    ems, are you saying "You can not go" is wrong?

    Here's another opinion: Cannot or Can Not?
    SON (aged 10): 'Can I have a glass of beer, dad?'

    DAD (appalled): 'No, you certainly can not!'

    Rover

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    ems, are you saying "You can not go" is wrong? That's the first I've heard of this (that I remember).

    Here's another opinion: Cannot or Can Not?
    Sorry, no, I wasn't saying it wasn't possible to use "can not" instead of "cannot". I should have said that the generally accepted opposite of "You can go" is "You cannot go".

    You can go = You are able to/are permitted to go there.
    You cannot go = You are prohibited from going to the unspecified place.
    You can not go = You are permitted to make the decision to not travel to the unspecified place.

    It's an interesting point though, given that in Rover's example above about the boy asking for beer, I would have written his father's response as "No, you most certainly cannot!"
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 18-Nov-2012 at 13:22. Reason: typo
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    There has always been a problem with modals and negation. With some modals in some senses the presence of 'not' negates the modal; in other senses the modal negates the following full verb. For some reason unknown to me, 'cannot' is generally written as one word, except in certain restricted senses. 'Not' does not combine with other modals, as Raymott pointed out, except in contractions.

    I think we just have to accept Palmer's 'modals are messy'.

  10. #10
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: You can not to go there!?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    'modals are messy'.
    Some day I will start a line of t-shirts and mugs with various grammar-related slogans. This will be one of them.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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