CONTEXT CLUES adapted from Keith Kroth Definition When we are reading and we come across a word we don’t know the meaning of, we can use context clues to help us. Context clues are words or phrases around an unknown word that can help a reader determine the unknown word’s meaning. While the dictionary can be helpful, sometimes we don’t need the dictionary – we can figure it out all on our own. What this looks like In today’s Bellwork, were you able to figure out the words’ meanings? How? • • • • Implied means: Intermediary means: Consolidated means: Frail means: Types of context clues There are four types of context clues: • Definition clues • Restatement clues • Compare/Contrast clues • Inference (Example) clues Definition clues A definition clue is when a word’s or phrase’s meaning is explained immediately after the word or phrase is used. Examples: We entered the living room and sat down on the davenport, or large sofa. I tried a piece of cake and thought it was bland, or tasteless. Restatement clues • A restatement clue is when a word or phrase can be replaced by a word or phrase that we already know. Examples: In order to make the itching stop, I squeezed some of the liniment out of the bottle and rubbed it on the rash. The heist was a failure for the burglars because they were caught as they tried to escape. Compare/Contrast clues • A compare/contrast clue is when a word or phrase is later compared/contrasted to something that is the same or opposite of what our unknown word means. • Examples: The youngest boy was very reticent, and his older brother was quite shy too. I am very meticulous, but she is rather reckless. Inference clues • An inference (example) clue is when an unknown word’s or phrase’s meaning can be narrowed down based on other words or phrases in the sentences around the word. Examples: The criminal was arrested and sent to the penitentiary for four years. While there, he could only leave his cell for a few minutes each day. That man’s calligraphy is quite horrible. I can barely read a word he writes; it looks like a child scribbled everywhere. Next steps • After we use context clues to figure out the meaning of a word, what should we do to make sure we are correct? • What if we try to use context clues, but we still can’t figure out what our word means? Practice Can we figure out the meaning of the underlined words in the following sentences? 1. This diving board is quite pliant, or flexible. 2. Because no one showed up at her birthday party, my little sister felt forlorn and began to cry. 3. I can’t let you go in there because it is prohibited. However, I can allow you to go over there instead. 4. The pain was unendurable, and I had to quit the race to make it stop. More Practice 5. We tried everything we could, but we could not solve the problem. It had left us perplexed, and I began to grow angry because I hate not being able to figure something out. 6. Her comment was valuable and important, but his was irrelevant. 7. The lesion on my finger was caused when I accidentally cut myself with a knife while chopping vegetables. 8. My uncle is quite philanthropic -he enjoys helping others.