I though かねない could be used instead of かもしれません, but only when the sentence conveys a negative notion or danger. That being said, I find it difficult to understand why is it used in the sentence below:


This is an abstract from an Attack on Titan novel, so if the notion that "if Eren's ability was true, this could change the tide of the war against the Titans" were true, the かねない structure couldn't be used in this context, as the そんなこと本当に可能なら clause would be definitely beneficial for the speaker of the given sentence.

Is changing the tide of the war against the Titans beneficial for humankind? If not, it would make sense.

The meaning of しかねない is as you said. I think "この人類の置かれている状況が引っくり返ること" is bad for humankind.

  • Humanity is losing and is inside walls. Eren's ability to control the Titans out of the walls can only be perceived as good. Eren is sort of the chosen one so I can't comprehend how in any context would him, being able to control the Titans, bad. In addition, the speaker of this sentence is even a military official from Eren's side and is saying the sentence in front of Eren and the rest officials, so backstabbing or betrayal is not an option in my opinion. – Kaizokugari Jan 17 at 9:21
  • We need more sentences before and after this sentence. – Yuuichi Tam Jan 17 at 12:59

I’m not familiar with this “negative notion or danger” nuance, but here’s what the dictionary says:

(動詞の連用形の下に付いて)…しないとはいえない。…するかもしれない。 「あいつならやり-・ない」 「秘密をもらし-・ない」 → 兼ねる

(from Sanseido’s Daijirin via kotobank)

Maybe the negative outcome is from the Titans’ point of view? I.e. “the humanity just might be able to turn this situation over”

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