Context clues are more commonly found in nonfiction texts than in fiction, although they are sometimes found in children's literature, often with the goal of building readers' vocabulary. Words can have multiple meanings, so being able to infer the correct definition from context is a valuable reading comprehension skill.
One way to learn new words is through the context of the words around them. We infer the meaning of these words from what's going on or what has already been established in the text.
Clues for deciphering a word's meaning can be rendered in the form of anything from a subtle hint to a straight-out explanation, definition, or illustration. Context clues can also take the form of synonyms, antonyms, word-structure clues, comparisons such as metaphors and similesand contrasts.
For example:. Word-structure clues are understood in two ways: a reader or listener understands a base word and a prefix or suffix and infers the meaning from the combination of the two, or the reader knows a word origin and upon hearing a word of similar origin, infers its meaning. For instance, if you know that "anti-" means against, it's easy to infer the meaning of the word "anti-establishment. Likewise, if you're aware that a "memorial" is something in remembrance for a person who has died, you might readily intuit the meaning of the following sentence, even if you'd never previously heard the term "in memoriam.
Comparison context clues show the meaning of a word through similarities to other items or elements, similies or metaphors:. Learning new words from context alone does have its limitations, as this method is not always definitive.
Often, context may give a reader a general idea of a word, but not a full meaning. If the sentences in which an unknown word appears don't clearly spell out it's meaning, that meaning may be lost. For long-term retention, readers need to see a word multiple times. The more often an inferred definition is included, the more likely the reader will retain and understand a new word. Share Flipboard Email.
Definition and Examples of Context Clues
English and Rhetoric Professor. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks.
Updated January 24, Synonym context clues offer words nearby with the same meaning:. Synonym: The annual bazaar is scheduled for the last day of school. It's always a fun festival. Antonym context clues offer nearby words with opposite meanings. Antonym: "You look pretty content about it, not like you're all bent out of shape at all," he noted.
Examples of Context Clues
Definition context clues just spell out the meaning in a straightforward manner:. Definition: In Britain, they call the trunk of a car the " boot. An explanation or illustration can also show the context of the word:. Word-structure: The anti-establishment protesters picketed the town hall. Word-structure: The book was dedicated in memoriam of his father.Learning to use context clues is a key component of vocabulary instruction.
Students use context clues to help them determine the meaning of unfamiliar words by looking at the way the word is used in a sentence or paragraph. The words or phrases surrounding an unknown word provide the reader with clues. Common types of context clues include examples, synonyms, antonyms and comparisons.
Context clues often contain signal words that the reader can use to help them learn the meaning of new words. Synonyms and restatements help the reader learn the meaning of an unknown word by presenting an alternate term or phrase that means the same as the word. Signal words include "also known as," "sometimes called," "that is" and "in other words. Antonyms help the reader find the meaning of an unfamiliar word by presenting an alternate word in context that has the opposite meaning.
Contrasting signal words for antonyms include "even though," "however," "in contrast," "unlike," "but" and "different. Context clues that contain examples can help students learn the meaning of an unknown word. Some signal words that indicate an example are "such as," "including," "for instance" and "for example. Signal words that indicate a comparison also help students find the meaning of unfamiliar words. Students can learn the meaning of an unknown word by comparing it to a known word or phrase in the context clue.
Signal words for comparisons include "like," "as," "also," "too" and "similar. Alissa Pond Mentzer worked in biotech research and educational publishing before becoming a freelance writer in She has contributed to textbooks for The Mcgraw-Hill Companies and National Geographic School Division and writes science articles for various websites.
Mentzer earned a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University in anthropology and biological sciences. Blachowicz, et al. About the Author.All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.
Hottest Questions. Previously Viewed. Unanswered Questions. Literary Terminology. What may indicate that a sentence contains a contrast context clue? Wiki User The word, than, may indicate that a sentence contains a comparison context clue. To compare different things is also called likening. Words and phrases such as "as I said," "furthermore," "moreover," "once again," "another example," "this means," all indicate that what follows is related to or repeating what came before.
Careful perusal of the earlier sentences may shed light on the difficult word or sentence which follows. Context clues of all sorts can be found in sentences in English, as in any language. As just one example, the sentence, "Although she loathed eating meat, she still ate turkey at Thanksgiving in order to avoid conflict with her mother,", contains the context clues of "Although" and "still" which indicate the relationships of the dependent and independent clauses which make up the sentence as a whole.
Asked in Synonyms and Antonyms A sentence with an antonym context clue contains? Asked in Languages and Cultures, Synonyms and Antonyms A sentence with a synonym context clue contains? The sentence may or may not be redundant depending on context, but the use of both "just" and "only" is redundant. You could say that the sentence contains a redundancy. Both words mean the same thing in this context and just one of them would suffice.
The word context is a noun. A sentence with this word is: She was upset because she took the joke out of context. Asked in Literature and Language What type of context clue is given in The malodorous rotten eggs were masked by the sweet fragrance of freesia and lemons? The sentence uses contrast as a context clue. Contrasts include: The malodorous - sweet rotten - fragrance eggs - freesia and lemons all as imagery.
It depends on the context but mainly it would be 'compliments'. An example would be 'The music compliments the film'. Asked in Math and Arithmetic Does positive and negative contrast or repel? They will always contrast. Whether or not they will repel depends on the context. In electromagnetism they do not repel. In people, they might.The clue may appear within the same sentence as the word to which it refers, or it may follow in a preceding sentence.
Because most of your vocabulary is gained through reading, it is important that you be able to recognize and take advantage of context clues. Types of context clues. There are at least four kinds of context clues that are quite common. Read the following sentences and define the bolded word based on the context clue.
Then identify which of the four types of clues is used. Type of Context Clue - contrast definition of vociferous - talkative; outspoken. Type of Context Clue - example definition pedagogical - having to do with teaching.
Type of Context Clue - synonym definition of pertinacity - mulish; stubborn. Type of Context Clue - explanation definition of conflagration - fire. Return to Techniques for Skillful Reading page. Synonym A synonym, or word with the same meaning, is used in the sentence. Antonym A word or group of words that has the opposite meaning reveals the meaning of an unknown term. Explanation The unknown word is explained within the sentence or in a sentence immediately preceding.
Example Specific examples are used to define the term. The girl who used to be very vociferous doesn't talk much anymore. Pedagogical institutions, including high schools, kindergartens, and colleges, require community support to function efficiently.
He was so parsimonious that he refused to give his own sons the few pennies they needed to buy pencils for school. It truly hurt him to part with his money. His pertinacity, or stubbornness, is the cause of most of his trouble.
Rather than be involved in clandestine meetings, they did everything quite openly. Ecclesiastics, such as priests, ministers, and pastors, should set models of behavior for their congregants. The girl was churlish — rude, sullen and absolutely ill-mannered.
Because the conflagration was aided by wind, it was so destructive that every building in the area was completely burned to the ground. Joffe's Opportunity for Successful Reading3rd ed. Type of Context Clue - contrast definition of vociferous - talkative; outspoken 2.Search for clues, synonyms, words, anagrams or if you already have some letters enter the letters here using a question mark or full-stop in place of any you don't know e.
Definition of contrast put in opposition to show or emphasize differences; "The middle school teacher contrasted her best student's work with that of her weakest student" to show differences when compared; be different; "the students contrast considerably in their artistic abilities" the act of distinguishing by comparing differences the range of optical density and tone on a photographic negative or print or the extent to which adjacent areas on a television screen differ in brightness the perceptual effect of the juxtaposition of very different colors the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared; "in contrast to", "by contrast".
We've listed any clues from our database that match your search. There will also be a list of synonyms for your answer. The synonyms have been arranged depending on the number of charachters so that they're easy to find. If a particular answer is generating a lot of interest on the site today, it may be highlighted in orange. If your word has any anagrams, they'll be listed too along with a definition for the word if we have one.
Missing Link Privacy. Thanks for visiting The Crossword Solver. We hope that you find the site useful. Regards, The Crossword Solver Team. More clues you might be interested in restrict rest determination ormer miscellany flower competitor corrode disciplinarian sticking stimulate danger pattern copy resound twig new painful group highway robber corset green expanse female ballet dancer disposition long tooth component position key dessert cover.
Stand in opposition 8. Degree of difference 8. Differ strikingly 8.Validate word meanings and pronunciation! Improve reading rate! This is the power of context clues! Give your students power in reading comprehension when you engage them in this context clues unit. Choose activities for any level, elementary through high school, that encompass different types of clues: synonym, antonym, example, explanation, comparison, and contrast. Students will match items, write their own definitions and explanations, and examine context clues within provided sentences.
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Time And Seasons. Mathematical Sequences and Number Patterns. Social Studies Theme Units. Logic Shapes: Critical Thinking Puzzles.Just like a detective following clues that lead to the perpetrator of a crime, you as a reader must use context clues within a text passage to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary.
Context clues are simply hints or additional information the author provides that can help you understand the meaning of a particular word or phrase. These clues can be found in the same sentence as the vocabulary word or elsewhere in the passage, so be on the lookout whenever a new term presents itself. With reading comprehension being as important to all aspects of life as it is today, it's no wonder that language skills such as vocabulary are emphasized. You will most definitely encounter vocabulary questions in the reading sections of standardized tests, and you're going to have to employ some prowess to get you through.
Understanding how various types of context clues work can help you to understand difficult vocabulary wordseven those brand new to you. A text may be chock-full of words you can't completely crack, but you shouldn't let that discourage you. Inside the passage, where all the juicy tidbits of vocabulary clues lie, you can figure challenging words out.
Every author writes differently, so a number of different types of context clues can be found in reading passages. Some authors offer very little explanation for difficult words, throwing tough vocabulary into their writing wherever they can with little or no help; other authors carefully craft their passages to ensure readers follow every step of the way; most are somewhere in the middle. No matter what degree of help you're given, context clues are your friend.
A definition or restatement clue is the most straightforward "hint" you'll ever get—it defines the precise meaning of a vocabulary word in the sentence itself, usually immediately or closely following the vocabulary word. Notice how the dashes set off the definition. Commas or parentheses containing a descriptive phrase directly after the vocabulary word an appositive can also point you in the right direction by defining or restating.
Synonyms are equally easy to spot. Sentences containing synonyms use similar words and phrases to a vocabulary word to help give that word meaning. Sometimes synonyms are used to paint a clearer picture and sometimes they're used for emphasis. Antonyms are the reverse of synonyms but have the same effect. They use other words, this time opposites, to define unknown vocabulary words. Antonyms show stark inequalities and apply contrast to give meaning.
This type of context clue uses examples to help the reader infer the meaning of a vocabulary word. Just like in any other situation, examples can be helpful illustrations as context clues. After examining the context of a passage for clues, you should have at least a vague idea of what an unknown vocabulary word means. Use your estimate to come up with synonyms for the new word, then try these out in the sentence to see if it still makes sense. If not, keep searching for hints until you've found something that works.
Share Flipboard Email. Kelly Roell. Education Expert. Updated January 21, Generally, a context clue can be categorized into one of four types:.
Definitions or restatements Synonyms Antonyms or opposites Examples or explanations. Jack's duplicity —crafty dishonesty—enabled him to steal his coworker's pensions by funneling their money into an offshore account.
The baseball coach punished the team's duplicity or deceitfulness after they admitted to using steroids to boost their batting averages. It was your duplicity that caused me to break up with you! Had you been honest, I wouldn't have felt the need. Unlike my last employee, who had integrity to spare, you have nothing more than duplicity and will not receive a job recommendation from me.
His duplicity involved lowering his employee's salaries, increasing their stock options, and then stealing the money he saved by doing so.