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Context Clues

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Krista Massingill

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of Context Clues

C ntext Clues
Krista Massingill
EDU 220 C

What are context clues?
Words or phrases that help with the understanding of an unknown word
in a sentence or paragraph are
called context clues. They are
located around the word you
don't know.
To discover the meaning of
an unknown word, you must investigate the surrounding
text for clues that will help
you uncover the meaning
of the new word.
Let's look at the types of context clues!
Definition Context Clue
The author of the sentence gives you the definition of the unknown word.

Signal words:
is, are, means, refers to, or
Examples:
A conga is a barrel-shaped drum.
After a time, glaciers, or slowly moving rivers of ice, formed over many parts of the Earth.
Restatement Context Clues
The author restates the meaning of the unknown word in another way.

Signal symbols:
introduced by commas or dashes
Signal words:
or, that is, in other words
Examples:
The heavy pulse-or beat-of the rock music gave Hunter's mother a headache.
Will's father teaches economics, the science of money and what it buys.
Example Context Clues
The author gives an example of the unknown word.

Signal words:
for example, for instance, including, like, such as
Examples:
In science we are studying marine mammals, such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
The student was suffering from anxiety. For example, when he first saw the test, he began to tremble.
Antonym Context Clues
The author contrasts the unknown word with a word or phrase that means the opposite of the unknown word.

Signal words:
but, however, in contrast, instead of, on the other hand, though, unlike
Examples:
I thought the movie would be good, but it turned out to be atrocious.
Unlike his quiet and low key family, Brad is garrulous.
Step 1
Check for definitions or restatements of the unknown word around the word. If you find a definition or restatement, reread the sentence with the new definition or restatement in mind. Then tell yourself in your own words what the sentence is saying to you.
Step 2
Look for an example of the unknown word within the sentence. Decide what the example might make the unknown word mean. Reread the sentence using the definition you have created using the examples.
Step 3
Check for a contrast clue, or antonym. If you find one, think about its meaning, and then tell yourself the opposite meaning. Then reread the sentence and rephrase it in your own mind using the new meaning.
Steps for Using Context Clues...
Step 4
Using the definition you have created for the unknown word, substitute the unknown word with your definition and reread the sentence. If the sentence still does not make sense, check the dictionary.
Practice:

I thought it was a fresh idea, but the teacher thought it was trite.
Mary was furious, or angry, at her brother.
Precipitation is water that falls to the earth as rain or snow.
It was difficult to listen to Tommy speak because he droned on and one just like a buzzer that won't stop buzzing.
One brother is an erudite professor; the other brother, however, has never shown any interest in books or learning.
Constellations, such as The Little Dipper and The Big Dipper, can be seen in the night sky.
Full transcript