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cannot / can not i am very confused My English teacher say that in English , the word "can not" don't exist and only "cannot" is correct sometime native speaker use "can not" instead of "cannot" it is not correct what do you think of this opinion ??
May 29, 2013 10:02 AM
Answers · 19
It's just like someone/somebody. They really should be two words and there is no technical reason they can't, but we write them as one for absolutely no reason. To be honest I write 'can not' everytime, but my computer changes it to 'cannot'. I really don't see the point in writing it as one word when the abbreviation "can't" already exists, but that's the convention and if that's what your teacher says you should stick with it.
May 29, 2013
In American English they're both acceptable. This article explains when and why you might choose one over the other:
May 29, 2013
Every time I use cannot in speaking , I am trying to stress my denial and negative attitude affirmatively . aside from that, I cannot tell its noticeable distinction .
May 30, 2013
Or send your teacher here and Jmat and I will set him straight ;-)
May 29, 2013
Short answer: it does exist and it is not ungrammatical, however it is not commonly used, and you should just use 'cannot' and not waste your breath arguing with your teacher ;-)
May 29, 2013
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