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  • e2e4
    Participant
    26 December, 2010 at 19:34
    • Total posts: 20

    Do you consider "cannot" phrasal modal?

    What does "cannot" actually mean? When it should be used.

    Are there any differences between "cannot" and "can’t"?

    Thanks

    e2e4
    Participant
    29 December, 2010 at 22:32
    • Total posts: 20

    Reply To: cannot

    Hard questions? Let me say then that I see the matter this way below. (Just to start with something.)
    I want to emphasise that I am conscious that grammarians probably do not agree with me about this.

    In my formal English, "can" as a modal can not be modified. Modals do not change their forms.
    In my informal English "can’t" is acceptable.

    If "cannot" is acceptable in formal English then "cannot" has nothing to do with modal can because "can" can not take any other form but "can".

    "Cannot" doesn’t belong to the group of words called modals.
    It could belong to groups of words that could be called quasi-modals, phrasal modals, or any other group but not be called "negation of can".

    "Can" has no any negation form.
    No any other modal has its negation.

    1. I can do this.
    2. I can not do this.

    In both cases I can something.

    In #1 I can what?, "do this".
    In #2 I can what?, "not do this".

    In #1 complete meaning is "positive".
    in #2 complete meaning is "negative".

    "couldnot" does not exist. "cannot" should not exist as well.
    I don’t need it in my neither formal nor informal English.

    I’d like to know whether you agree with me or not, completely or partly.

    Thanks

    phil
    Participant
    19 January, 2011 at 16:46
    • Total posts: 55

    Reply To: cannot

    Cannot is the negative form of can.

    "I cannot swim" and "I can’t swim" both mean that I am unable to swim.

    Just out of interest, there’s a good debate about "cannot" versus "can not" here: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/cannot-or-can-not/

    e2e4
    Participant
    5 March, 2011 at 11:53
    • Total posts: 20

    Reply To: cannot

    Example

    Can you not do this?

    Please someone say this sentence using cannot.

    Thanks

    fedora.c
    Participant
    15 March, 2011 at 9:01
    • Total posts: 3

    Reply To: cannot

    I hope this quotes will help you.. :)
    1. I cannot live with you.
    2. I cannot live with You—It would be Life—And Life is over there—Behind the Shelf
    3. America has made no reparation to the Vietnamese, nothing. We are the richest people in the world and they are among the poorest. We savaged them, though they had never hurt us, and we cannot find it in our hearts, our honor, to give them help—because the government of Vietnam is Communist. And perhaps because they won
    4.When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
    5.I do not like you, Sabidius; I cannot say why.
    This only can I say: I do not like you.

    Do you need any more examples?

    e2e4
    Participant
    19 March, 2011 at 11:29
    • Total posts: 20

    I hope this quotes will help you.. :)

    1. I cannot live with you. I am not able to live with you.
    3.. and we cannot find it in our hearts,..and we are not able to find it in our hearts..
    4.When a man cannot choose..When a man is not able to choose he usually uses a wrong way..
    5.I do not like you, Sabidius; I cannot say why. I am not able to say why.
    This only can I say: I do not like you. Can I not like you? I still wonder if one can say it using the form "cannot"?

    Do you need any more examples? Up to you. :wink:

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