Please help me with this question

The plane ____ down 20 minutes later than scheduled because of the bad weather.

A. Put

B. Touched

C. Landed

D. Flew

I've googled "touch down" and "put down" and they both mean landing. Could anyone please help me tell these two phrasal verbs apart and give me the key of the question above? Thank you in advance.

  • A plane might touch down and then take to the air again. (And, of course, the two terms have entirely separate and unrelated meanings outside of aviation.) – Hot Licks Feb 5 at 13:31
  • My understanding is that "touching down" is a necessary part of "putting down" safely and correctly. Once a plane has "touched down" it still has to slow down to a safe speed and then taxi to a dispersal point. The whole process is "putting down" and I have a suspicion that, in an emergency, one could "put down" heavily without lowering the undercarriage correctly or even "put down" in a field. "Touching down" implies landing correctly leaving the plane in a condition in which it can be refuelled and take off again. – BoldBen Feb 5 at 14:22

Touched down is what the plane did. The plane is the subject of the sentence and is where the focus of the sentence is. Put [the plane] down is what the pilot did. The pilot put the plane down on the wrong runway.

However, there has long been one situation where the plane put down is idiomatic. That's when put down is a euphemism for an emergency landing. In this case, the pilot had, shall we say, less than full control of the plane. Longman has this to say under definition number 10 of "put down" —

10 AIRCRAFT put (something) down if an aircraft puts down or if a pilot puts it down, it lands, especially because of an emergency
The engine failed and the plane put down in the sea.


So if you want to be persnickety, you can make the argument that put down is an acceptable answer, but it's not the best answer.

| improve this answer | |
  • thank you so much – Di Ngụy Feb 6 at 3:15

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