Context clues
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Context clues. What is a context clue?. The words and/or phrases that surround an unknown word. When combined with prior knowledge, context clues give hints to the meaning of unknown words. They can be found in the same sentence or in surrounding sentences. Context Clues Video.

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Context clues

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Context clues

Context clues


What is a context clue

What is a context clue?

  • The words and/or phrases that surround an unknown word.

  • When combined with prior knowledge, context clues give hints to the meaning of unknown words.

  • They can be found in the same sentence or in surrounding sentences.

  • Context Clues Video


Types of context clues

Types of context clues

Definition

Synonym

Antonym

Comparison and Contrast

Restatement

Example

General Clues


Definition clue

Definition Clue

  • The definition of the unknown word is directly stated in the text.

  • A definition clue is often set off by commas, or dashes.

  • Example

    • Sometimes the explorers encountered leads, open channels of water, and were forced to wait until the ice formed before going on.


Synonym clue

Synonym Clue

  • An unknown word is paired with a word having the same or nearly the same meaning.

  • A synonym clue is usually set off by a comma.

  • Example

    • Hurricane Ike caused catastrophic, disastrous damages in Texas.


Antonym clue

Antonym Clue

  • An unknown word is paired with a word that means the opposite.

  • Look for clue words that indicate contrast

    • but, however, instead of, unlike, on the other hand

  • Example

    • The cashier was polite, unlike the customer, who was quite curt to her.


Comparison and contrast clues

Comparison and Contrast Clues

  • In comparison clues, the writer suggests the meaning of an unknown word by comparing it to something similar.

  • In contrast clues, the writer suggests the meaning of an unknown word by pointing out the differences.

  • Example

    • The twins barreled through the living room like a tornado.


Restatement clue

Restatement Clue

  • When a writer restates an unknown word in easier language, it is a restatement clue.

  • Usually commas or dashes separate a restatement clue.

  • Look for clue words that show restatement

    • that is, in other words, and or

  • Example

    • The boy put together a hand-collated set of trading cards; in other words, he put together a set of trading cards by hand.


Example clue

Example Clue

  • In an example clue, the writer provides several words that are examples of an unfamiliar word.

  • Look for key words that indicate an example is provided

    • for example, for instance, including, such as

  • Example

    • Looking out the window, I could see the beautiful delphiniums. They were nestled among the roses, daisies, and daffodils.


General clues

General Clues

  • Sometimes you need to infer the meaning of an unfamiliar word by reading non-specific clues in a number of sentences.

  • Remember to look for clues over several sentences.

  • Example

    • Kevin set out the broom, a dustpan, dusting rag, vacuum cleaner, and three trash bags before beginning the monumental task of cleaning his bedroom.


Let s practice

Let’s Practice

  • TV411

  • Multiple Choice

  • Matching


With help from

With help from…

  • Applebee, Arthur N. "Vocabulary Handbook." The Language of Literature. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2006. R24-25. Print.

  • FOR-PD. "Florida Online Reading Professional Development." University of Central Florida, 2008. Web. 7 Sept. 2011. <http://www.robeson.k12.nc.us/cms/lib6/NC01000307/Centricity/Domain/2567/ContextCluesChart.pdf>.


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