Improve your vocabulary

Using Context Clues

An effective way to understand unfamiliar words while reading is to use the other words in the sentence to make meaning of the word. Sometimes a sentence will provide an example that will help you gain meaning of the word. Examples are often signaled by words or phrases: like, for instance, this, especially, includes.

For example: My brother’s social studies presentation is a study of acoustics that includes vibrating tuning forks and violin strings.

1) Identify the unfamiliar word (acoustics)

2) Read through sentence again to see if there is a signal word that helps you like, “includes.”

3) Ask yourself how “vibrating tuning forks” and “violin strings” follow the word “includes.”

4) Relate the words back to “acoustics” to help figure up what the word means.

5) Finally, look up the unfamiliar word and write down the definition in a notebook or in your book if you own it.

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