New version page

CONTEXT CLUES

Upgrade to remove ads

This preview shows page 1-2 out of 6 pages.

Save
View Full Document
Premium Document
Do you want full access? Go Premium and unlock all 6 pages.
Access to all documents
Download any document
Ad free experience
Premium Document
Do you want full access? Go Premium and unlock all 6 pages.
Access to all documents
Download any document
Ad free experience

Upgrade to remove ads
Unformatted text preview:

READING – Context Clues rev. August 2005 CONTEXT CLUES Context clues are hints found within a sentence, paragraph, or passage that a reader can use to understand the meanings of new or unfamiliar words. Learning the meaning of a word through its use in a sentence or paragraph is the most practical way to build vocabulary, since a dictionary is not always available when a reader encounters an unknown word. A reader must be aware that many words have several possible meanings. Only by being sensitive to the circumstances in which a word is used can the reader decide upon an appropriate definition to fit the context. A reader should rely on context clues when an obvious clue to meaning is provided, or when only a general sense of the meaning is needed for the reader’s purposes. Context clues should not be relied upon when a precise meaning is required, when clues suggest several possible definitions, when nearby words are unfamiliar, and when the unknown word is a common one that will be needed again; in these cases, a dictionary should be consulted. There are several different types of context clues. Some of them are: 1. DEFINITION / DESCRIPTION CLUE The new term may be formally defined, or sufficient explanation may be given within the sentence or in the following sentence. Clues to definition include “that is,” commas, dashes, and parentheses. Examples: a. His emaciation, that is, his skeleton-like appearance, was frightening to see. “Skeleton-like appearance” is the definition of “emaciation.” b. Fluoroscopy, examination with a fluoroscope, has become a common practice. The commas before and after “examination with a fluoroscope” point out the definition of “fluoroscopy.” c. The dudeen – a short-stemmed clay pipe – is found in Irish folk tales. The dashes setting off “a short-stemmed clay pipe” point out the definition of “dudeen.” 2. EXAMPLE CLUES Sometimes when a reader finds a new word, an example might be found nearby that helps to explain its meaning. Words like including, such as, and for example, point out example clues. Examples: a. Piscatorial creatures, such as flounder, salmon, and trout, live in the coldest parts of the ocean. “Piscatorial” obviously refers to fish. b. Celestial bodies, including the sun, moon, and stars, have fascinated man through the centuries. “Celestial” objects are those in the sky or heavens.READING – Context Clues rev. August 2005 c. In the course of man’s evolution, certain organs have atrophied. The appendix, for example, has wasted away from disuse. “Atrophied” means “wasted away.” 3. SYNONYM RESTATEMENT CLUE The reader may discover the meaning of an unknown word because it repeats an idea expressed in familiar words nearby. Synonyms are words with the same meaning. Examples: a. Flooded with spotlights – the focus of all attention – the new Miss America began her year-long reign. She was the cynosure of all eyes for the rest of the evening. “Cynosure” means “the focus of all attention.” b. The mountain pass was a tortuous road, winding and twisting like a snake around the trees of the mountainside. “Tortuous” means “winding and twisting.” 4. CONTRAST / ANTONYM CLUE Antonyms are words with opposite meanings. An opposite meaning context clue contrasts the meaning of an unfamiliar word with the meaning of a familiar term. Words like “although,” “however,” and “but” may signal contrast clues. Examples: a. When the light brightens, the pupils of the eyes contract; however, when it grows darker, they dilate. “Dilate” means the opposite of “contract.” b. The children were as different as day and night. He was a lively conversationalist, but she was reserved and taciturn. “Taciturn” means the opposite of a “lively conversationalist.” 5. MOOD / TONE CLUE The author sets a mood, and the meaning of the unknown word must harmonize with the mood. Examples: a. The lugubrious wails of the gypsies matched the dreary whistling of the wind in the all-but-deserted cemetery. “Lugubrious,” which means “sorrowful,” fits into the mood set by the words “wails,” “dreary,” and “deserted cemetery.”READING – Context Clues rev. August 2005 6. EXPERIENCE CLUE Sometimes a reader knows from experience how people or things act in a given situation. This knowledge provides the clue to a word’s meaning. Examples: a. During those first bewildering weeks, the thoughts of a college freshman drift back to high school where he was “in,” knew everyone, and felt at home. A feeling of nostalgia sweeps over him. b. She walked away from her closet and quickly slipped a jersey over her head. She smoothed it into place over her hips, added a belt, glanced at the mirror, and left for work. 7. ANALYSIS OR STRUCTURE CLUE The parts used to construct a word can be direct clues to meaning. Knowledge of prefixes, roots, and suffixes can aid a reader in using this type of context clue. Learning one word part can add dozens of words to a reader’s vocabulary. The power of word parts lies in the ability to combine the roots and affixes with the context in which a word is used to discover the author’s meaning. Examples: a. The story is incredible. The root cred means “to believe,’ and the prefix in means “not.” Therefore, if a story is incredible, it is unbelievable. b. The somnambulist had to be locked in his bedroom at night for his own safety. If a reader knows the meaning of ambular (walk) and somn (sleep) and sees the sentence, the reader may realize that a “somnambulist” is a sleepwalker. 8. INFERENCE CLUE Sufficient clues might be available for the careful reader to make an educated guess at the meaning. Example: a. She told her friend, “I’m through with blind dates forever. What a dull evening! I was bored every minute. The conversation was absolutely vapid.” “Vapid” means “uninteresting.” 9. CAUSE AND EFFECT CLUE The author explains the reason for or the result of the word. Words like “because,” “since,” “therefore,” “thus,” “so,” etc. may signal context clues. Example: a. She wanted to impress all her dinner guests with the food she served, so she carefully studied the necessary culinary arts. “Culinary” means “food preparation.”READING – Context Clues rev. August 2005 CONTEXT CLUES -- PRACTICE


Download CONTEXT CLUES
Our administrator received your request to download this document. We will send you the file to your email shortly.
Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view CONTEXT CLUES and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view CONTEXT CLUES 2 2 and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?