Context Clues, Exercise 1

Partner Practice

Directions: The five types of context clues are definition (synonym/restatement), contrast, examples, general sense of the sentence, and clue from another sentence. For each sentence below, use the context to help you determine the meaning of the italicized word.

1. Because there was so little precipitation this year, the crops dried up and died.

 a. fertilizer                        b. planting                         c. rain

2. Although I was unable to understand all of the details of the presentation, I did get the gist of it.

a. humor                        b. main point                         c. notes

3. At a special ceremony, the police chief gave the officer a commendation for bravery.

a. an award for an outstanding achievement         b. an object designed to bring good luck         c. a lecture

4. One brother is an erudite professor; the other brother, however, has never shown any interest in books or learning.

a. old; elderly                        b. well educated; well-read        c. snobbish; stuck up

5. Night is the time when many animals forage, or search, for food.

a. come out at night                b. sleep                                c. search for food

6. The waiter was so brusque that we left only a small tip. He was impolite and impatient, and seemed annoyed whenever we asked for something.

a. acting or speaking in a rude, abrupt manner                b. frightening looking                 c. knowledgeable and skilled

7. The store specializes in cutlery, such as forks and knives, that has unique designs.

a. spices and seasonings        b. plates, bowls, and cups        c. silverware; eating utensils

8. My sister loathes broccoli, but she loves spinach.

a. dislikes intensely                b. eats eagerly                        c. prepares and cooks

9. Psychologists have conducted research on altruism, which can be defined as "putting the needs and welfare of others above one's own needs and well-being."

a. psychologists who conduct research                 b. researched conducted by psychologists        

c. putting the needs and welfare of others above one's own needs and well-being




Context Clues, Exercise 2

Individual  Practice

Directions:  Adding verbs to your vocabulary makes it more powerful and precise. This exercise features ten verbs, words that describe actions. From the following definitions, select the one that means the same as the bold print word in each sentence. Use context clues to help you determine your answers. There are two extra definitions that you will not need. Once you have worked with these words, use them in when you speak or write. Make them part of your active vocabulary.

a. to live in

b. to provoke anger or hostility

c. to keep in custody or temporary confinement

d. to break open, to burst

e. to destroy completely

f. to give or pay out funds

g. to stuff with food, eat greedily

h. to remove an attorney from the legal profession

i. to go or visit often

j. to stray from the main subject

1. ________ Two endangered species of fish inhabit that river. To protect them, fishing is not allowed.

2. ________ Since registration is coming up, the financial aid office will disburse spring tuition checks next week.

3. ________ The airport police are authorized to detain anyone they suspect of smuggling. If the police do not find any illegal substances or objects, they release the person.

4. ________ The water pipe is weak and may rupture. To avoid a flood in the basement, the pipe should be replaced as soon a possible.

5. ________ The State Bar Association is going to disbar that lawyer; she has admitted that she tried to bribe a juror.

6. ________ The soldiers plan to use explosives to annihilate the enemy's headquarters.

7. ________ Because the Montoyas frequent their neighborhood restaurant, the staff knows them well and provides excellent service.

8. ________ Children tend to gorge themselves on candy, so it is a good idea to limit them one or two small pieces each day.

9. ________ Some speakers digress when they give a speech; in other words, they stray from their topic and talk about unrelated things.

10. ________ Telemarketers frequently antagonize people with their calls. As a result, many people say rude things to them or hang up on them.