Have you ever thought to yourself as to why we have two negation forms in the English form in the English language? Well, I'll tell you why.

"Cannot" vs. "Can not" in the English Grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both of these words look the same but they are completely different. 'Cannot' in the negation of 'can'. 'Can not', however, is used when we want to to the structure 'not only but also'.

Differences

'Cannot' is the negative form of 'can'. It can be used in written, formal English. Look:

I really cannot do anything for you.

They cannot treat her like that.

We mainly use 'can not' to indicate that someone can do something along with other things. It is mainly used with the 'not only but also' structure' Check out the following examples:

The police can not only stop this mess, but they can also prevent it from occurring again in the future.

My parents can not only have an amicable divorce, but they can also live their own lives and fell satisfied.

Similarities

They do not have any similarities.

Are They Interchangeable?

We cannot use them interchangeably because using 'can not' to negate a sentence is wrong. Compare:

✓ I said I cannot come.

X I said I can not come.

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