Cannot vs. Can not

Can...or CAN NOT?!“Zomg there’s a difference?!” Yes my friends, there is indeed a difference between cannot and can not. Before I jump into the post, I apologize for the lack of posts as of late–grad school is taking a bit out of me. So, per request, here is cannot and can not!

Here’s the deal…

Normally I break my posts into a section on (Word A) and a section on (Word B). However, cannot and can not are very closely related, so I’m going to talk about them together.

This is what you need to ask yourself:

“Is this something that can or can not be done?” For example, “I can feed the cat. I also can not feed the cat.” When it is a circumstance that you can OR can not do something, you use can not (with the space).

So let’s say you have something that could never be done. Like reading minds. You would say something like this: “I cannot read minds.” There’s no way in heck you’ll ever be able to read minds–as such you combine the two words into one–cannot.

Final thoughts:

If it’s something that COULD be done, you know you’ll use can not. Just add the “not” to show that you’re negating it. Good luck!

Posted in Grammar Quick Fix.

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