Sentence Hints for Word Meanings

Use context clues and evaluate the sentence hints such as helping words, punctuation, definitions, etc. to understand the meanings of difficult words.

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Using Context Clues
Context Clues Worksheet
Some sentences set off the definition for a difficult word by means of punctuationOrigami - Japanese paper folding - is fun and interesting.

Fibrin, elastic threads of protein, helps blood to clot.
Dashes--, parenthesis (), brackets[], Commas,,,
Sometimes helping words, along with punctuation, provide important clues.Jenna felt perturbed; that is, she was greatly annoyed by her sister's actions.Helping words: that is, meaning, such as, is called
Some sentences tell the opposite of what a new word means. From its opposite, you can figure out the meaning of the word.Parents who constantly spank their children cannot be called lenient.If you are lenient, you do not often punish your children. Merciful or gentle would be good guesses for the meaning of lenient.

Helping words to show opposites: not, but, although, however, on the other hand...
Sometimes you can use your own experiences to figure out the definition of a word.The cacophonous rattling made Maria cover her ears.A noise that would make you cover your ears would be unpleasant and jarring.
Sentences before or after a sentence containing a difficult word sometimes explains the meaning of the word.Mozart gave his first public recital at the age of six. By age thirteen he had written symphonies and an operetta. He is justly called a child prodigy.It would certainly take remarkably talented person to do these things. An extraordinary person, then, would be a prodigy.
Some sentences are written just to give the definitions of difficult words - words that readers will need to know to understand what they are reading.One of the remarkable features of the Nile Valley is fertility of the soil. This rich earth that supported plant growth made it possible for Egyptians to thrive in a dry region.The second sentence, which tells us that the soil was rich and that it supported plant growth, explains the word fertility.
Because some sentences give examples for a new word, you can build a definition.Choose a periodical from among the following: Time, Reader's Digest, or Seventeen.The sentence doesn't say that periodical is a magazine, but you can figure that out from the examples.
Some sentences use a word you do know to help explain a word you do not know.A formidable enemy is one to be feared.Formidable: through the clues in the sentence, means fearful or dreadful.