Context Clues - Montgomery Township School District

Context Clues What Are They? Context clues are bits of information from the text that, when combined with prior knowledge, allow you to decide the meaning of unknown words in the story or article you are reading. As a reader you must act similar to a detective and put together clues from sentences surrounding an unknown word in order to make an intelligent guess as to what the definition of a word is. Types of Context Clues Writers use many different

types of context clues when writing texts. Three of these types are: Direct definition context clues Synonym context clues Antonym context clues Direct definition context clues are words that say, Stop - dont touch that dictionary. The definition of the word you dont know is right here in the text!" EXAMPLE:

After a time, glaciers, or slowly moving rivers of ice, formed over many parts of the Earth. In this sentence the words slowly moving rivers of ice tell us what glaciers are. Synonym context clues are words around a difficult word that mean the same or nearly the same as the word. EXAMPLE: After

seeing the picture of the starving children, we felt compassion or pity for their suffering. In this sentence the word pity tells us that compassion means to have understanding for. Antonym context clues are words around a difficult word that mean the opposite or nearly the opposite as the word. EXAMPLE:

Joe was reluctant to take the job of captain of the team. He was afraid that the time it would take would hurt his grades. On the other hand, Billy was eager for the chance to be the team captain. In these sentences the words on the other hand and eager tell us that Billy feels the opposite of Joe, therefore, reluctant means uncertain or cautious.

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