How about now? To avoid the burning sun in torrid climates such as deserts, many animals come out only at night. Torrid means: a. Familiar b. Extremely hot and dry c. Humid
The officer tried to ascertain the truth about the accident by questioning each witness separately. Ascertain means: a. Create b. Avoid c. Find out
In their euphoria, the fans of the winning team danced in the stadium aisles and chanted victory songs, until their intense joy was dampened by a sudden downpour. Euphoria means: a. Intense joy b. Hurry c. Disappointment
It is often CONTEXT – the words surrounding an unfamiliar word – that can provide clues to a word’s meaning.
Four Common Context Clues 1. Examples 2. Synonyms 3. Antonyms 4. General Sense of the Sentence or Passage
1. Examples Examples may suggest the meaning of an unknown word. For instance: The adverse effects of this drug, including dizziness, nausea, and headaches, have caused it to be withdrawn from the market. What are the examples? What do you think adverse means?
1. Example For instance: Common euphemisms include “final resting place” (for grave), “intoxicated” (for drunk), and “comfort station” (for toilet). What are the examples? What do you think euphemism means?
2. Synonyms A synonym may also appear somewhere in a passage and help provide context for understanding. For instance: Although the salesperson tried to assuage the angry customer, there was no way to soothe her. What word is the synonym?
3. Antonyms An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word. Antonyms are often signaled by words and phrases such as however, but, yet, on the other hand, and in contrast. For instance: Trying to control everything your teens do can impede their growth. To advance their development, allow them to make some decisions on their own. a. Block b. Speed upc. Improve
3. Antonyms For instance: Many people have pointed out the harmful effects that a working mother may have on the family, yet there are many salutary effects as well. Which effects are being compared? What do you think salutary means?
4. General Sense Textbooks tend to use examples, synonyms, and antonyms to provide context because the purpose is to help you learn (there are also often glossaries in the back!). Most of the time it takes more detective work to puzzle the meaning out of an unfamiliar word. Look for clues and ask questions.
4. General Sense For instance: Despite complaints from parents, educators, and government officials, violence and sex on television seem to go on unabated. What words or phrases can we use as clues to discover the meaning of unabated ?
When in doubt… See if you recognize parts of the word: “Assimilate” sounds a little like “similar” because they have the same root. When that happens, chances are the words are related. Ask someone Look it up