• Piano in the Water: Using Modal Verbs to Talk About Strange Events in English

    Last week a grand piano was found in the middle of Biscayne Bay, Florida, United States. Let’s watch a report on the occurrence and answer some questions about the strange event.

    At what exact location did wildlife officials say the piano was found in the bay?

    Why does the report say the piano was strategically placed on the highest spot on the bay’s sandstrip?

    What are the two main theories about where the piano came from?

    At what point will the authorities move the piano?

    What is your theory about where the piano came from?

    I think the piano was there as the result of…

    an accident?

    an emergency?

    a joke?

    an experiment?

    a drunken (alcohol-fueled) episode?

    an attention-seeking person or group?

    What would you do if you found a piano near your house?

    The mysterious piano of Biscayne Bay.

    When we talk about the possibility of strange events we generally use modal verbs like might, should, could, would. These give us more information about the other verbs in our statements.

    Here are some examples:

    I would try and find out who owned the piano?

    I might leave it there for someone else to figure out what to do with it?

    I could take a photo of it and post it on Facebook.

    I should return it but I would probably take it home and keep it.

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