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Can't, can not or Cannot, which is correct.

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View Poll Results: Can't, can not or Cannot, which is correct?
Can't
11
42.31%
Can not
0
0%
Cannot
10
38.46%
TEK
5
19.23%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

Can't, can not or Cannot, which is correct.

Old 03-14-06, 01:10 PM
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Can't, can not or Cannot, which is correct.

Dictionary lists all
Old 03-14-06, 01:11 PM
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Yes. Somewhat depends on how formal the usage is.

I tend to not use "cannot".
Old 03-14-06, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BadlyDrawnBoy
Dictionary lists all
all are correct, but your punctuation is incorrect.
Old 03-14-06, 01:17 PM
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I always thought it was cannot with the contraction being can't.
Old 03-14-06, 01:19 PM
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"Cannot" when formal, "can't" otherwise. "Can not y" should mean "able to not y" (vs. "unable to y").

das
Old 03-14-06, 01:20 PM
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I never use 'can not', I always thought it was incorrect.
Old 03-14-06, 01:21 PM
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If the dictionary lists all three, then why the poll?

This thread confuses me.
Old 03-14-06, 01:34 PM
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you'll get used to bdb eventually seekonce. It just takes awhile.
Old 03-14-06, 01:46 PM
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I'm looking for the popular consensus. das monkey's answer confused me even more...


y kant tori read is all I got from that.
Old 03-14-06, 01:54 PM
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He meant y as in a variable.
Old 03-14-06, 02:12 PM
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Brain Stew

He meant y as in a variable.
"x" was taken.

das
Old 03-14-06, 02:19 PM
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I tend use cannot when I really want to stress that I can't do something.
Old 03-14-06, 02:20 PM
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They're all wrong. It's "Canna":

Old 03-14-06, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by das Monkey
"Can not y" should mean "able to not y" (vs. "unable to y").
That would be a pretty obscure interpretation.
Old 03-14-06, 02:35 PM
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I like the choice. I will click that one from now on!
Old 03-14-06, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
They're all wrong. It's "Canna":

You beat me to it. I was going to say Canna was also an appropriate pronunciation if you were were scottish.
Old 03-14-06, 05:08 PM
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X

That would be a pretty obscure interpretation.
Not really. No one uses it because it sounds too much like "cannot", but it's pretty straightforward and logical. I only mention it to illustrate the difference between the word "cannot" and the pairing "can not", not to suggest anyone actually use it that way. Still, observe:

"I cannot speak Chinese."
"I can not speak Chinese."
"I not speak Chinese."
"I cannot only speak Chinese, but I can speak some Klingon as well."
"I can not only speak Chinese, but I can speak some Klingon as well."
"I not only speak Chinese, but I speak some Klingon as well."

Language is fluid, and as such, some improper usages become "accepted" over time irregardless <har> of logic, but there is a real distinction between "cannot" and "can not", even if many don't follow it.

das
Old 03-14-06, 05:12 PM
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Of course it's logical. It's just that no one would misinterpret it because noone (covering all the bases) uses it that way unless they're in a discussion of logic.
Old 03-14-06, 05:55 PM
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As has been pointed out before, all three are "correct", depending on the usage. But - unless you're Data, you'll probably use the contraction like most people.
Old 03-14-06, 07:07 PM
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i think that the correct word is "no". for example, "i cannot speak English" is no correct. the correct way to speak would be "i no speak English".
Old 03-14-06, 08:41 PM
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I usually say can't but if there is any confusion or lack of clarity, then I rephrase with cannot. The only time I say can not is for phrases like the one das Monkey wrote above (I can not only speak Chinese, but I can speak some Klingon as well.).
Old 03-14-06, 08:43 PM
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I say can't, usually while watching bi-o-pics.
Old 03-14-06, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by das Monkey
Language is fluid, and as such, some improper usages become "accepted" over time irregardless <har> of logic, but there is a real distinction between "cannot" and "can not", even if many don't follow it.
Despite language's fluidity, I know that irregardless is not a word, regardless of its common usage.
Old 03-14-06, 10:20 PM
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I enjoy screaming "YOU CAN'T" at random strangers to see if they mishear me.
Old 03-14-06, 10:27 PM
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"I can't do it"
"No, you cannot"

Can not - I always thought this should never be used, ever.

For Das' example, "can not" should be elminated and alternatively said as either "I can't speak Chinese" (which obviously is the opposite, just throwing it out there) or "Not only can I speak Chinese but I can also....." (which he pretty much covered as well)

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