Context clues

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  • 1. Context CluesVocabulary Building

2. Context clues 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 be in a preceding or subsequent sentence. 3. FOUR TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES: 1. Definition 2. Synonyms 3. Antonyms 4. Example 4. DEFINITION The verb "to be" is a signal indicating that the definition of the word may be in the sentence. A form of the verb "to be" is located between the unfamiliar word and its meaning. 5. Examples: 1.A carnivore is an animal that feeds only on meat. 2.A biographer, or one who writes about people's lives, is an example of an author. 6. SYNONYMS The word "like" is a signal word indicating synonym which means there is a word of similar meaning in the sentence. A synonym, or word with the same meaning, is used in the sentence. 7. Examples: 1. The harlequin, like the circus clown, was a fool who loved to perform. 2. My opponent's argument is fallacious, misleading plain wrong. 8. ANTONYMS The word "but" is a signal word indicating antonym which means there is a word of opposite meaning in the sentence. A word or group of words that has the opposite meaning reveals the meaning of an unknown term. 9. Examples: 1. Jerry is very clumsy, but his sister Jenny is adroit. 2. Although some men are loquacious, others hardly talk at all. 10. EXAMPLE Using examples or illustrations, an author tries to show what a word means. A writer may give just one example or several. Remember that these examples are not synonyms. Look for words or phrases like such as, including or consists of, Colons (:) and dashes (-) can also signal examples. 11. Examples: 1. The river was full of noxious materials such as cleaning agents from factories and pesticides from the nearby farms. 2. This third grade was full of precocious children. One child had learned to read at two and another could do algebra at age 6. 3. When going to an office party you should show your best decorum, for example, dress your best, drink and eat moderately, and be sure to thank the host before you leave. 12. Cubbyholes I have always lived in cubbyholes. After moving away from home, my first apartment was just a cubbyhole in a large building. It was no more that 8' by 12' and had a bed in one corner. My second was no more that a large walk-in closet. My current one is about 10 feet long by 12 feet wide, but it at least has two rooms. Cubbyhole = SMALL 13. Scuzzy The floors of the restaurant were extremely scuzzy. They were covered with spilled grease, crumbs of food, and cigarette butts. Scuzzy = DIRTY 14. Remunerated The contractor was always well remunerated for his work. For example, he received $10,000 for a small addition to a house and last year he was received $5,000 for reconstructing a stairway. Remunerated = PAID 15. Breeches The department store carries a variety of breeches, for example they carried Levis, Wranglers, and even some plain unlabeled brands made of cotton. Breeches = PANTS / JEANS 16. Bauble Josie received a bauble for Christmas from her great aunt. This she put with her others, a pair of imitation earrings, a fake emerald pendant, and a ring that looked like a ruby. Bauble = Jewelries 17. Vociferous The girl who used to be very vociferous doesn't talk much anymore. Vociferous = TALKATIVE 18. Parcimonious 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. Parsimonious = STINGY 19. Pertinacity His pertinacity, or stubbornness, is the cause of most of his trouble. Pertinacity = STUBBORN 20. Ecclesiastics Ecclesiastics, such as priests, ministers, and pastors, should set models of behavior for their congregants. Ecclesiastics = CLERGY 21. churlish The girl was churlish rude, sullen and absolutely ill- mannered. Churlish = RUDE 22. Conflagration Because the conflagration was aided by wind, it was so destructive that every building in the area was completely burned to the ground. Conflagration = FIRE