1. zaffy

    zaffy New Member

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    can you, can't you, answer this?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by zaffy, Feb 22, 2011.

    Now that I have raised the issue of can't on another thread, I would like to open it as an independent discussion.
    Someone suggested I did not know what I was talking about and since researching it on the internet, I think they are probably correct.

    Does anyone have the answer to the differences between ...

    can not - cannot - cant - can't ?
     
  2. Youniquee

    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Erm, never heard of Can not
    Can't is the shortened version of cannot
    cant <- isn't correct..I think
    Hoped that helped..
     
  3. Dandroid

    Dandroid New Member

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    cant can be a short form for 'cantation' or a specialized language....like pig latin
     
  4. Ellipse

    Ellipse Contributor Contributor

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    Can not and cannot are the same word. They have the same meaning. They just removed the space between the two words to shorten it into a compound word. Cannot is the word normally used because...why make it longer by including the extra space?

    Can't is the contraction for cannot. Same meaning. Just a shortened form of the word.

    Cant is a completely different word. Here are some definitions courtesy of dictionary.com:

    -noun
    1. insincere, especially conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety.
    2. the private language of the underworld.
    3. the phraseology peculiar to a particular class, party, profession, etc.: the cant of the fashion industry.
    4. whining or singsong speech, especially of beggars.

    -verb
    5. to talk hypocritically.
    6. to speak in the whining or singsong tone of a beggar; beg.
     
  5. FindJoyInLife

    FindJoyInLife New Member

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    -Cannot and can not: These two mean the same thing (as mentioned by several others above).

    -Can't: The contraction of the above words, traditionally you should not use the contraction in most of your formal nonfiction writing.

    -Cant: Unrelated to the above two and would be considered grammatically incorrect if you were trying to use it as "can not".

    Hope this helps
     
  6. Writing in the Mist

    Writing in the Mist New Member

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    In the mist, duh.


    Second that. Very good explanation Ellipse.
     
  7. Trilby

    Trilby Contributor Contributor

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    I agree with the above - well put Ellipse.

    Another meaning for cant - a slope or tilt.
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributor Contributor

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    Aha! I found another one in my dictionary:

    Scot. and northern English dialect: Lusty, merry, hearty.

    :D


    ... not that it's a game or anything :p
     
  9. SeverinR

    SeverinR New Member

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    Wow, didn't know cant had so many definitions. I knew it as a special (limited)language.
     

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