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  1. B45
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    #1

    Which would a native say: We can/could land the plane at the nearest airport if the

    Which would a native say:

    We can/could land the plane at the nearest airport if the threat is real.


    One suggests, and the other is an ability. I'm trying really hard to figure out the nuances.

    Is this a conditional sentence?

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Which would a native say: We can/could land the plane at the nearest airport if

    Actually, either is fine. You're right about the difference between the two words, but in that situation, they would probably mean the same thing.

    It depends on its context in the full conversation, of course:

    Passenger: "We can't land at the airport."
    Pilot: "Yes, we CAN land at the airport."

    Passenger: "We can land at the airport."
    Pilot: "We COULD land at the airport, but it's very icy.

    Hope that helps!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Which would a native say: We can/could land the plane at the nearest airport if

    We can land the plane there if the threat is real. (It's not clear if the threat is real or not.)
    We could land the plane there if the threat is real. (It's not clear if the threat is real or not.)
    We could land the plane there if the threat were real. (The suggestion is that the threat is not real.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Which would a native say: We can/could land the plane at the nearest airport if

    Same question for the umpteenth time.

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