Context Clues

Context clues are hints you can use to find out the meaning of a word you don't know. Knowing how to use context clues will help you build your vocabulary as you read.

Types of context clues:

Synonyms - A word or phrase with similar meaning is used in the sentence.

That girl is insolent and rude and doesn't have any manners at all!

We can infer from the sentence that insolent is used to describe someone who doesn't have manners or is rude.

Antonyms - A word or phrase with opposite meaning is used in the sentence.

My mother is voluble, unlike my father, who doesn't talk a lot.

From this sentence, we can infer that voluble means talkative, since it is being contrasted with not talking a lot.

Explanation - Sometimes the word will be explained in the sentence.

The miserly man refused to donate money to charity and instead hoarded every dollar.

Based on the explanation of the man's character in the sentence, we can infer that miserly means someone who doesn't like to spend and instead hoards his money.

Examples - The sentence may have examples that help you determine the meaning of the term.

This hotel contains many amenities, including a hot tub, room service, free wifi, and shampoo.

Since there are examples of amenities given in the sentence, an amenity is likely a service, resource, or feature of a facility.


Sources Used and Helpful Links