In Danish we use "tildække" (verb.) (literally: up cover) as a translation for the English word 'cover'. Both "Vi tildækker vinduerne" (We up cover the windows) and "Vi dækker vinduerne til" (We cover the windows up) are correct. The later is more common though. It is equivalent to the English terms "Turn up" or "Catch on", where you use the preposition "up" and "on" to make the sentence flow. I hope this makes sense?
And I assume the word order in sentences with phrasal verbs doesn't have any reasonable rules one could learn. Sometimes the preposition must follow the verb immediately and then comes the object, sometimes the object is in the middle, sometimes it doesn't matter and sometimes it means completely different things. Right?
As a native speaker I would say that it is a correct translation, but if you said it to someone they would interpret as "could you please cover the windows". "Kan du ikke" is often used as "can you please" whereas "can you not" would be "kan du lade være med" or something similar.
I was wondering if there isn't two meaning possible here, because, imho, "can't you" and "can you not" doesn't mean exactly the same thing. "can't you cover the windows" would be more like I ask you that every day and you never do it, so i'm kind of annoyed. "can you not cover" would be more a polite way of asking to leave the window uncovered, so I'm asking you to keep from covering them up today... Am I right ?
My first thought on this was that the speaker was frustrated that the windows were always covered and wanted them left clear, not that they wanted the windows covered. "Can you not..." Or "Can we not..." "Can we NOT cover the windows today? I'd like some natural sunlight."
Having read the other comments, I must be the only one who heard it this way. The given answer at the top, "can't you cover the windows", makes it more clear that the majority is correct in this case. Would my meaning ever be used, and if so, would it simply be tone of voice and attitude?