Cannot versus can not
Posted by R. Berg on March 29, 2002
In Reply to: Cannot versus can not posted by Linda on March 29, 2002
: This isn't a phrase, but I was wondering where I could find
the correct useage for cannot versus can not. Isn't there a 'hard
fast rule' somewhere that sometimes you can not use the word cannot?
The hard-and-fast rule of usage is that "cannot" is always written as one word, with no space. If you're asking whether any situations call for using a space, I guess one sort of conversational context qualifies, like this: "Should I post my question at the Phrase Finder Discussion Forum? Well, I suppose I CAN post it and wait for an answer--or I can NOT post it and ask my neighbor the copy editor instead."