Reading can be a hard task, especially if you don’t know what some of the words you’re reading mean! That’s why we have the tool of using context clues!
Let’s learn how to define some examples of tricky words by using context clues!
“Sally is in her room and she hears a loud clatter in the kitchen. She gets up to see what it is and finds nothing.”
How could we define the word “clatter” by using the context clues of the sentence?
If you guessed “a loud noise,” that’s correct! A clatter can be defined as a loud noise by using the context clues of Sally hearing the loud noise from her room and going to see what it is.
Let’s look at another example of using context clues!
“Joe had a strong hankering for some Mac and Cheese, that is, he really wanted it for dinner.”
How could we find the definition for “hankering” by using the surrounding context?
We could define “hankering” as “a strong desire for” by the phrase “that is.” This breaks up the sentence and also helps show that “it” in the second part of the sentence is referring to Mac and Cheese.
Let’s look at one more example!
“The elephant was enormous compared to the tiny mouse.”
How are we going to define the word “enormous”?
We can define the word “enormous” by reading the description of the mouse as being “tiny.” “Enormous” can be defined as “big” or “huge” because it is being compared to the tiny mouse.
If you want to learn more about finding the meanings of words by using context clues, go to https://www.cpp.edu/ramp/program-materials/context-clues.shtml to learn more ways to find the meanings of words in readings!