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    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Can Not And Canīt

    Hi, I have a question about this modal verb, I donīt know whether there is any difference between those two negative expressions, can I use any of them? Has anything to do with writing and speech?. Thanks in advance.
    Bye

  1. #2

    Re: Can Not And Canīt

    In fact it is not correct to say: "can not" but the correct form is "cannot" (one word).

    Now, cannot and can't are both acceptable. However, "can't" is more spoken than written. This is why out professors used to deduce a lot of marks if we wrote in the exams: "can't" or any other abbreviated forms.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #3

    Re: Can Not And Canīt

    Quote Originally Posted by jesuscruz View Post
    Hi, I have a question about this modal verb, I donīt know whether there is any difference between those two negative expressions, can I use any of them? Has anything to do with writing and speech?. Thanks in advance.
    Bye
    Both are fine. Here's what AHD has to say about the different forms, Jesus.

    ==============

    AHD:

    cannot, can not, can’t


    The negative of the auxiliary can, cannot occurs less frequently than the contraction can’t but much more frequently than can not, which is sometimes used for emphasis and to reflect the fact that this locution may be stressed on the not as well as on the can. Cannot is Formal, can’t relatively Informal in writing, and can’t is the more frequent in Conversational contexts, but it is often appropriate as well even in some Oratorical uses. All three forms are Standard. Cannot, like can’t, is a very frequent replacement for may not.

    =================


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: Can Not And Canīt

    The best exemplar of using the emphatic form was John MacInroe on the tennis court, whose bye-word was "You can not be serious!" when he thought an umpire's call was wrong.

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