Contextual Clues.

Context Clues are hints that the author gives to help define a difficult or unusual word. The clue may appear within the same sentence as the word to which it refers, or it may be in a preceding or subsequent sentence. Because most of your vocabulary is gained through reading, it is important that you be able to recognize and take advantage of context clues.Types of context clues. There are at least four kinds of context clues that are quite common.

Synonym A synonym, or word with the same meaning, is used in the sentence. My opponent’s argument is fallacious, misleading – plain wrong.
Antonym A word or group of words that has the opposite meaning reveals the meaning of an unknown term. Although some men are loquacious, others hardly talk at all.
Explanation The unknown word is explained within the sentence or in a sentence immediately preceding. The patient is so somnolent that she requires medication to help her stay awake for more than a short time.
Example Specific examples are used to define the term.Celestial bodies, such as the sun, moon, and stars, are governed by predictable laws.

Read the following sentences and define the bolded word based on the context clue. Then identify which of the four types of clues is used.

1. The girl who used to be very vociferous doesn’t talk much anymore.
2. Pedagogical institutions, including high schools, kindergartens, and colleges, require community support to function efficiently.
3. He was so parsimonious that he refused to give his own sons the few pennies they needed to buy pencils for school. It truly hurt him to part with his money.
4. His pertinacity, or stubbornness, is the cause of most of his trouble.
5. Rather than be involved in clandestine meetings, they did everything quite openly.
6. Ecclesiastics, such as priests, ministers, and pastors, should set models of behavior for their congregants.
7. The girl was churlish – rude, sullen and absolutely ill-mannered.
8. Because the conflagration was aided by wind, it was so destructive that every building in the area was completely burned to the ground.

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42 responses to “Contextual Clues.

  1. mary ann p saracho

    kulang inyong kinds of contextual clues……
    kulang og duha……

  2. synonmous

    pls put the parts of the contextual clues and its meaning… like linked synonyms… etc.. tnx!

  3. i will. thanks for your quick response.

  4. my teacher said; there are many kinds of contextual clues, but you have only given 4 kinds of it. please give all the kinds of contextual clues and their meanings of course….thanks a lot. that’s all and more power.



  6. you are welcome serhio. maybe you want to check more in my other blog http://www.artzari.blogspot

  7. I follow your posts for a long time and should tell you that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

  8. thanks for your comment mr pirsey and thanks a lot for following me without me realizing it.i’ll keep my post up to date if i have the time to do it..appreciate what you say,honestly..visited your blog, quite nice with the smoke quitting tips..just keep it up..

  9. thuhuong

    in Microsoft Word, it is easy to look up synonyms and antonyms in the thesaurus ,but I have just known that recently. It is just a word with Shift+F7 and^^it quite works!

  10. julianne

    ahm,,thank you po sa pagshare ng knowledge about contextual clues,,,

    topic po kc nmin ngaun yan,,

  11. eoliveros08

    context clues are crucial for the well understanding of a pharagraph

  12. true enough.that’s why while reading we must focus on certain sentences and if possible underline that particular sentences (especially those that we don’t understand) so we can refer back to them later on and guess the meaning. usually in a paragraph the sentences are related to each other that will give us the whole idea of the paragraph..more @ (esl learning and more)

  13. eoliveros08

    contextual clues also help us increase our vocabulary,get to know new words refered to the topic,they are crucial to the well understanding of the reader otherwise the reader must have very deep knoledge of the topic he´s reading on,for example an architec´s book would´nt be understandable for a lawyer.

  14. cyara

    who is author that said there are some kinds of context clues?
    i need the name of the author
    thank you

  15. patrice

    gve more example of contexual clues poh sana………..ahehehehe…tnx

  16. ona


  17. cecille anne toledo

    tnx sa example

  18. curious gurl

    well, this info really helped me! i just wanna ask…..
    wheres the ‘mood’ context clue? =) need it 2…

  19. what do you mean by the ‘mood’? please clarify.

  20. Sol

    Please post additional examples on contextual clues. BTW, thanks to your free website.

  21. Please post also some lessons on how to use the library. Thanks.

  22. I wasn’t able to keep from smoking so I REVERTED to my old behavior.


    wala na ba ibang example ??

  24. Ramz'k

    The kinds of context clues is lacking…Kindly please add the missing others.!

  25. yana

    examples ngay??

  26. heymer

    help naman sa contextual clues

  27. heymer

    enge nmn tagalog explanation on contextual clues..tnx

  28. E-Zhan

    Thank you for writing this piece.
    May you write more.
    God bless.

  29. brick

    more more……………

  30. kulang ang contextual clues nyu.. lagay nyu naman :/

  31. elisio caso

    halo anu ba talaga ang contextual clues at outlining maari bang magkapariho…. txns pkisagut namn…

  32. junn ascorte

    mag research d.i ka?

  33. Clydel@26

    I’m just wondering yesterday I had search
    5 types of context clues .
    Why now it’s only 4 types?
    Ano po ba talaga?

    • Clydel@26

      It’s confusing po kasi…
      Thank you po sa idea,
      Actually tama naman po
      Ung 4. I just want to know po
      Kung ung inference/general context clues
      Included po ba sa 4 na nauna?

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