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Confusing "Cannot" and "Can Not"

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If you've been linked to this, you probably made a language mistake and whoever sent this to you cared enough to point it out. The best thing to do is read the details and see where you went wrong.


"Cannot" means "unable to do; not allowed to do". This is the intended meaning in most cases, so "can not" is usually an error. "You cannot go" means "you are unable to go" or "you are not allowed to go".

"Can not" can be correct; however, it means "have the option of not doing". "You can not go" means "you have the option of not going", which is different in meaning from "you cannot go".

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