Context Clues

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Context Clues

  1. 1. Context CluesThe context is simply the words or ideas around your unknown word. Context Clues are hints that the author gives to help define a difficult or unusual word. The clue may appear within the same sentence as the word to which it refers, or it may follow in a preceding sentence. 
  2. 2. How to understand new words using  Context Clues?
  3. 3. Four Types of Context Clues1. Definition / Explanation2. Restatement / Synonym3. Contrast / Antonym4. Inference / General Context Clues
  4. 4. Types of Context Clues1. Definition / Explanation  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. 
  5. 5. Context Clue: Definition / Explanation Let’s have an example: (1)The arbitrator, the neutral personchosen to settle the dispute arrived at her decision. , What could be the definition of arbitrator in this sentence ? arbitrator - the neutral person chosen to settle the dispute
  6. 6. Context Clue: Definition / Explanation Let’s have an example: (2) Fluoroscopy, examination with a fluoroscope, has become a common practice. What could be the meaning of the word fluoroscopy?Fluoroscopy – an examination with a fluoroscope The commas before and after The commas before and after “examination with a fluoroscope” point “examination with a fluoroscope” point out the definition of “fluoroscopy.” out the definition of “fluoroscopy.”
  7. 7. Context Clue: Definition / Explanation Now, you try! The dudeen – a short-stemmed clay pipe – is found in Irish folk tales. What could be the definition of dudeen in this sentence? dudeen – a short-stemmed clay pipeThe dashes setting off “a short-stemmed clayThe dashes setting off “a short-stemmed claypipe” point out the definition of “dudeen.”pipe” point out the definition of “dudeen.”
  8. 8. Types of Context Clues2. Restatement / Synonyms  The meaning is usually right after the unfamiliar word and often separated from the rest of the sentence with commas, dashes, or parenthesis; sometimes or, that is or in other words is used.
  9. 9. Context clue: Restatement / Synonyms Let’s have an example: (3) The mountain pass was a tortuous road, winding and twisting like a snake around the trees of the mountainside. What could be the definition of tortuous in this sentence? “Tortuous” means “winding and twisting.” “Tortuous” means “winding and twisting.”
  10. 10. Context clue: Restatement / Synonyms Let’s have an example: (4) 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. What could be the definition of the word cynosure in this sentence? “Cynosure” means “the focus of all attention.” “Cynosure” means “the focus of all attention.”
  11. 11. Context clue: Restatement / Synonyms Now, you try! The young girl was very aloof. She always seemed unsociable and uninterested . What does the word aloof mean in this sentence? Aloof -
  12. 12. Types of Context Clues3. Contrast / Antonym  An opposite meaning context clue contrasts the meaning of an unfamiliar word with the meaning of a familiar term.  but, however, although, otherwise, unless, instead, on the other hand, while, never, no, or not may be used to signal the contrast.
  13. 13. Context clue: contrast / antonym Let’s have an example: (5, 6)He tried to smile because the mood of the party was not somber, but happy. You know that somber must mean You know that somber must mean something that is the opposite of something that is the opposite of happy. In fact, it means sad or dreary. happy. In fact, it means sad or dreary.David was very outgoing as opposed to his coy older sister. Hint word Coy must mean shy! Coy must mean shy!
  14. 14. Context clue: antonyms and contrast Now, you try!Joe was reluctant to take the job of captain of the team. Hewas afraid that the time it would take would hurt his grades.On the other hand, Billy was eager for the chance to be theteam captain.What does the word reluctant mean in this paragraph? In this sentence the words “on the other In this sentence the words “on the other hand” and “eager” tell us that Billy feels hand” and “eager” tell us that Billy feels the opposite of Joe, therefore, reluctant the opposite of Joe, therefore, reluctant means uncertain or cautious. means uncertain or cautious.
  15. 15. Types of Context Clues4. Inference/General Context Clues  The meaning of an unfamiliar word can be inferred from the description of a situation or experience
  16. 16. Context Clues: inference/ general Let’s have an example: (7) Dementia almost overcame Lou when she stepped off the train at Rainwater Ridge and felt as crazy as a Betsy bug as she realized how different her new life would be. Dementia can be defined as being Dementia can be defined as being insane because the phrase "as crazy as a insane because the phrase "as crazy as a Betsy bug" indicates insanity. Betsy bug" indicates insanity.
  17. 17. Context Clues: inference/ general Let’s have an example: (8) 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.” What could the word vapid means?The speaker was telling that she had a dull evening and that The speaker was telling that she had a dull evening and thatshe was bored at every minute of the conversation she had she was bored at every minute of the conversation she hadwith a friend. with a friend.The most logical guess would be uninteresting. The most logical guess would be uninteresting.
  18. 18. Context Clues: inference/ general Now, you try!The nurse in Wish You Well states that she would "...require a freereign in overseeing the children. These two need discipline, and Iintend to provide it." The idiomatic phrase, "a free reign," can be defined The idiomatic phrase, "a free reign," can be defined by looking for clues in the second sentence. by looking for clues in the second sentence. The nurse wants the freedom to discipline the two The nurse wants the freedom to discipline the two children her way because she has noticed how children her way because she has noticed how undisciplined they already are, and she is undisciplined they already are, and she is determined to provide it all by herself. determined to provide it all by herself.
  19. 19. References:http://wserver.scc.losrios.edu/~langlit/reading/contextclues/intro1.htmwww.clintweb.net/ctw/Context_Clues.pptwww.sinclair.edu/.../learning_words_from_context_clues.pdfwww.ucclermont.edu/content/.../Vocabulary_in_Context.ppthttp://www-sjths.stjohns.k12.fl.us/teachers/beckw2/0EAF7E84-0118C716.2/CONTEXT%20CLUESrev8192(3).pdfhttp://languageartsreading.dadeschools.net/pdf/ElementaryDocuments/Intermediate/ContextCluesChart.pdf

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