I still firmly believe that "can not" means something very different from "cannot". They would, in fact, translate differently into other languages. "Non possono andare: They cannot go", as in, they are not allowed to go, or have no means to go. "Possono non andare: They can not go", as in, they have the option not to go.
First of all I want to say that English is not my native language and that I've always been taught that cannot is the only correct spelling (except for the contraction), of course it might be changing in some places.
Anyway, I guess they may have different meaning or may not.
If you accept can not as an altenative spelling or assume the writer intended to say that but made a mistake, then they mean the same thing (sth is not possible)
However, in the sentence given by KSmitch: "You can do that or you can not do that" the meaning is different. But I wouldn't say that it's "can not + do" but rather "can + not do" and I think the difference would be audible in speech.
So, the way you say it determines the meaning, just like the sentence "you did quite well" may mean that I'm impressed with your performance or that I expected better results depending on whether I put stress on "well" or on "quite"
What mchollandersays is correct. "www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/cannot-or-can-not Both cannot and can not are acceptable spellings, but the first is much more usual. You would use can not when the ‘not’ forms part of another construction such as ‘not only’. For example:
'These green industries can not only create more jobs, but also promote sustainable development of the land.'
As for "all ready" and "already" just google 'all ready vs already' and you'll get dozens of sites verifying that they are different. mchollander says that also. Here are couple of lingots for you contribution.
Yes, of course they can both be used. I mereley stated that while in the sentence "you cannot go to that party" you may also use "can not", although it's not preferred; in your example "These green industries can not only create more jobs, but also promote sustainable development of the land" it would be impossible to use "cannot". Thus, they not always mean the same.
You explained that other than the contraction cannot was the only correct spelling. Which would in turn means the meaning of cannot is not true.
I am not trying to offend, and maybe it is different in the UK but whilst cannot is often used. Can not is ok, and is still used. And much more frequently than many of these sites imply.
I totally understand your argument, but whoever taught you taught you something slightly incorrect. Though I will agree that their meaning is almost identical.
Though when being told you cannot do something, and you can not do something the latter has a more stern and final feel and sound to it.
Sorry, all ready and already do NOT mean the same thing. "All ready" means everything is ready, while "already" means before the present time or earlier than expected. Big difference. And with or without the hyphens the words you used as examples do have the same meaning. Just like can not, cannot, and can't.
If you read 40 or 50-year-old novels you can find "all ready" in place of "already," I remember having a discussion about this with my English professor. I'm not trying to win internet points, and I acknowledge you're right--there can be an implied difference in modern usage--but historically, they're the same and still accepted as such.
I know I'm not being literal enough, but does this really mean something more like: "No, that's not possible!" ? I missed that we were learning new verb tenses, so now I get why "they cannot" is important, I'm just trying to figure out how it would typically be used in conversation.
For me the difference between the contraction 'cannot' and 'can not' is sometimes heard in spoken English when the speaker clearly separates the words to provide emphasis to permission being declined. AND this from the Oxford: Both the one-word form cannot and the two-word form can not are acceptable, but cannot is more common (in the Oxford English Corpus, three times as common). The two-word form is better only in a construction in which not is part of a set phrase, such as ‘not only … but (also)’: Paul can not only sing well, he also paints brilliantly.
Ah, simple problem, and a simple answer. You see, "possono" actually means "they can". I suppose duolingo put it as "cannot" so that Italian speakers learning English wouldn't get confused and write "not can". To be honest, I really don't know. It was probably to avoid some sort of confusion, though that doesn't seem to be working as well as it could.
I understand that native Italian speakers don't necessarily pronounce the final syllables of words very loudly.
That in no way means that those who are TEACHING Italian should do the same - I am not fluent in Italian and in order to become fluent, I need to be able to HEAR the WHOLE WORD.
Duolingo is generally great, but they're doing their level best to convince me that people with minor hearing loss are unwelcome here.
Yes, I am a bit angry, sorry.