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    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #1

    'Cannot' or 'can not'

    Hi,

    Is 'cannot' a single word, or two words like 'can not'? The word spell checked, underlines the word 'cannot' in the sentence below, and suggests that it be replaced with 'couldn't'.


    Following our investigation and the findings noted above, we cannot accept responsibility for the charges that you have incurred.


    Ben


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: 'Cannot' or 'can not'

    As it is given this sentence seems fine to me. Sometimes you just have to ignore spellcheckers.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
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    #3

    Re: 'Cannot' or 'can not'

    My gut reaction is that "cannot" and "can not" are interchangeable. The sentence as quoted is correct. The suggested "correction" looks more like a grammar checker than a strict spell checker.

    Brmadeira


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
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    #4

    Re: 'Cannot' or 'can not'

    My Webster's New World dictionary gives "can not" as the first definition for "cannot".

    Brmadeira

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #5

    Re: 'Cannot' or 'can not'

    "Cannot" is nearly always written as one word. I think brmadeira is right about it being a grammar checker: it probably assumed that since the sentence began with "Following", you intended it to be in the past tense.

    Spellcheckers can be useful, but they don't know everything and they often mark words correct that are in reality wrong; grammar checkers are, in my experience, completely useless.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #6

    Re: 'Cannot' or 'can not'

    Hi,
    What about the abbriviation of it .

    When should we use ( can`t ) ?

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #7

    Re: 'Cannot' or 'can not'

    "Can't", like all contractions, is generally used in informal situations, although the use of contractions is becoming more widespread. These days, the long forms are reserved for the most formal of situations: newspapers, technical documentation, official records, formal business letters, that kind of thing.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #8

    Re: 'Cannot' or 'can not'

    great , thanks for this clarification reoboss :)


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #9

    Re: 'Cannot' or 'can not'

    Thank you everybody.

    Ben

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