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The author provides you with clues about word
meaning in a variety of ways.
The four main types of context clues:
Description or explanation
The definition is in close proximity to
the complex word.
“That was exhausting,” Violet said, sitting
down on the bottom step and passing around the
bottle of water. “Exhausting and fruitless.”
“Grape,” Sunny said.
“No, no, Sunny,” Violet, said. “I didn’t mean we
didn’t have any fruit. I just meant we didn’t learn
anything. Do you think we missed a door?”
- from A Series of Unfortunate Event: The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
A description or explanation of the
word is provided by the author.
… And Yelena the Fair consented to
become his bride. So she did marry the
Tsar after all. And as for the baby Tsar,
he was given a new name and raised as
their own child.
- From the Golden Mare, the Firebird,and the Magic Ring by Ruth Sanderson
A synonym/antonym of the word is in
close proximity to the complex word
“ Oh, really,” said Roscuro, “this is too
extraordinary. This is too wonderful. I
must tell Boticello that he was wrong.
Suffering is no the answer. Light is the
- From Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
The author provides an example of
the complex word used in the text.
Stanley’s father was smart and had a lot of
perseverance. Once he started a project
he would work on it for years, often going
days without sleep.
- From Hole by Louis Sachar
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