cannot

contraction can not.
Usage
Both the one-word form cannot and the two-word form can not are acceptable, but cannot is far more common. Reserve the two-word form for constructions in which not is part of a set phrase, such as ‘not only … but (also)’: Paul can not only sing well, he also paints brilliantly.

English new terms dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cannot — is usually written as one word, although can not occurs from time to time in letters, examination scripts, etc. The contraction can t is fairly recent (around 1800) and does not occur (for example) in Shakespeare. Can t is often articulated even… …   Modern English usage

  • cannot — [kan′ät΄, kə nät′] can not cannot but have no choice but to; must …   English World dictionary

  • Cannot — Can not [Can to be able + not.] Am, is, or are, not able; written either as one word or two. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cannot — c.1400, from CAN (Cf. can) (v.) + NOT (Cf. not). O.E. expressed the notion by ne cunnan …   Etymology dictionary

  • cannot — ► CONTRACTION ▪ can not …   English terms dictionary

  • cannot — can|not [ kæ,nat, kə nat ] modal verb *** the negative form of CAN. The less formal way of saying and writing this is can t: Please don t tell me what I can and cannot do! What if the parties cannot agree? You cannot escape the law. cannot (help) …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cannot */*/*/ — UK [ˈkænɒt] / US [ˈkæˌnɑt] / US [kəˈnɑt] modal verb the negative form of can. The less formal way of saying and writing this is can t Please don t tell me what I can and cannot do! What if the parties cannot agree? You cannot escape the law. •… …   English dictionary

  • cannot — /kan ot, ka not , keuh /, v. 1. a form of can not. 2. cannot but, have no alternative but to: We cannot but choose otherwise. [1350 1400; ME] Usage. CANNOT is sometimes also spelled CAN NOT. The one word spelling is by far the more common:… …   Universalium

  • cannot — can|not [ˈkænət, nɔt US na:t] modal v 1.) a negative form of can ▪ Mrs Armstrong regrets that she cannot accept your kind invitation. 2.) cannot but formal used to say that you feel you have to do something ▪ One cannot but admire her… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cannot — This term should be spelled as one word (cannot) unless you wish to emphasize not. Such usage is rare, but it is permissible in a statement such as I can hear you, but I can not understand you. Use of can t for cannot is sanctioned by widespread… …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

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