Context Clues--Here Are Some Different Types of Clues

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Here are some different types of context cluesdefinition /synonymsSome sentences give you a description, explanation, or description for the word. Occasionally another sentence either before or after the sentence with the new word will define, explain, or describe the meaning for the word. example 1: When you pilfer something, you steal in little amounts; an example would be taking pens from work. example 2: From the most far past to the present day, the moon has been thought to cause lunacy. Some studies have shown that this momentary insanity does have some association to the moon's phases.

punctuationSometimes sentences set off the definition for the unknown word by using punctuation clues, like dashes parentheses brackets commas

example 1: There is an incertitude an uncertainty about when eyeglasses were first invented. example 2: The addax, a large light colored animal much similar to the antelope, has a pair of spiral horns.

helping wordsSometimes helping words, along with punctuation clues, provide important clues. that is or such as is called

example 1: Yolanda felt perturbed, that is, she was greatly upset by the man's inability to take "no" for an answer. example 2: Ted Bundy was most infamous, or notorious for his deeds.

opposites / antonymsSome sentences tell the opposite of what a new word means. From its opposite you can figure out the meaning for the new word. example 1: My sister, Mariella, is an optimist and can see a positive side to everything, unlike my brother, the pessimist.

examplesMany times an author helps you understand the meaning of a word by giving you examples. example 1: I use the following condiments on my hamburger: relish, ketchup, and mustard.

comparisonComparisons show the similarities between persons, ideas, things, etc. It is possible to figure out the meaning of the new word from the comparison. example 1: Andre is as passive as a bear in winter.

contrastSome sentences use contrast to show the differences between items. You can use the contrast to figure out yet the meaning for the new word. contrast clue words: but although however rather than

example 1: example 2:

My friend is very diligent, but her brother never finishes anything he starts. I prefer to read novels with intricate rather than simple plots.

own experienceSometimes you can figure out the meaning for a word by using your own experiences. This is also called making an inference. example 1: example 2: The cacophonous rattling made Ann hold her hands over her ears. Climbing mountains is an arduous task.