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Some people really get upset[edit]

The issue of 'can not' vs. 'cannot' really upset some of the other teachers at my school. They were outraged by these articles in a local newspaper. 11:23, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Cannot and can not[edit]

Is can not incorrect?

No, it is fine. As the definition says, cannot is a form of can not. Robert Ullmann 22:42, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, the anon can obviously see the definition, but is still questioning it. I also question whether it is correct at all. Maybe our current definition is wrong or incomplete. To me, "cannot" and "can not" are different words. "I can not sit down" means you have the option of not sitting down, but "I cannot sit down" means you don't have the option of sitting down. "can not" is rarely used baldly like that, it's usually used with "only" - "I can not only get to the school, I can get there in 10 minutes!".
To the extent that "can not" is an acceptable way, at all, of writing "cannot" (also written "can't") - I bet it is only because it is such a common mistake.
There is plenty of discussion out there, and most concludes that "cannot" is the correct spelling for the meaning "do not have the option to" - but there's a lot of discussion by people who don't know much about grammar, so it all has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Not that I'm an expert, but I'm not bad either. Gronky 02:02, 1 March 2007 (UTC)


Is cannot really a contraction? Nothing is being contracted. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 06:31, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Broken English?[edit]

What does the comment more a pronome in indirect object, which qualifies the impersonal translations of English cannot to Latin, mean? I cannot quite make sense of this one. It reads like gibberish, although I have a vague idea what may have been meant (the way the impersonal verbs are constructed). Was it added by an IP who doesn't speak English? Or is it just me who fails to parse this sentence fragment? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

It was added by Britannic124 (talkcontribs) (see diff), but it looks like he copied it from somewhere. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 17:09, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, from can't, which is why I linked to the earlier diff from there. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:08, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Is "cannot" unique?[edit]

Is there another English word which (historically?) follows this pattern.
Varlaam (talk) 06:46, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

You mean is there another verb fused to not? I can't think of any (excluding n't). Scots has some: canna/cannae, shouldna/shouldnae, wouldna/wouldnae, etc. Equinox 07:04, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that was my question.
I am wondering if historically "maynot" or "darenot" had some currency, and "cannot" is simply a vestigial artifact.
Thanks, Varlaam (talk) 17:18, 29 June 2017 (UTC)