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(one word) is the most common expansion of the contraction can't
can also be expanded to can not
(i.e., two words), but this is less common and usually reserved for emphasis. For example:
- I cannot do it!
(Can't is usually expanded to cannot.)
- I can not do it!
(This is considered more emphatic.)
Of course, the words can
sometimes appear alongside each other when the not
forms part of another construction (such as not only
). For example:
- Kevin can not only rap but dance too.
(Here, can not must be written as two words. It is not an expansion of can't.)