Types of Context Clues Ways to solve the Mystery of What Words Mean
1. Definition/Explanation Clue • The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed by an explanation immediately following. • Example: “The city holds a souk, or market, every other Saturday.” • What is a SOUK?
2. Restatement/Synonym Clue • The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed by a simple restatement or synonym. • Example: “The remote sitewas far away from our current location.” • The sentence provides a synonym, far away, for the adjective remote.
3. Contrast/Antonym Clue • The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed by a statement of the opposite meaning. • “I am so glad my classroom is capacious, since I feel awful being in cramped places. • Capacious means the opposite of cramped, so it must mean..?
4. Inference/General Context Clue • The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed elsewhere in the text, not within the sentence containing the word. Relationships, which are not directly apparent, are inferred. • Example: “The haberdashery was Lou’s favorite place. He loved shopping for nice suits and hats. The people who worked there were so friendly and helpful.” • The meaning comes from the next two sentences. A haberdashery is a:
5. Tone and Setting Clue • The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed by the actions or setting. • Example: “The antagonistic dog barked at everyone and everything in sight. He even thought a piece of trash was an enemy, so he barked at it, too.” • Antagonistic might mean____________ based on the clues.
6. Root Words, Prefixes and Suffixes • By looking at the related words, you may be able to figure out the meaning of the word. • The lawyer gathered the beneficiaries to read out my grandfather’s will. • Beneficiaries sounds like benefits and it seems like it might be a person. • Based on the root word benefit+ a person, beneficiary might=