TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES
You sawin ExerciseI how contextmay helpyou decidewhich meanjngthc authorintendedfor a familiar
word which has severalrneaninge.Contextcan also help you with the meaningof more unusualwords.
Sonietimesa writer actually explainsthe meaningof a term (particularlya technicalor scientificterm),
as in this sentenc€:
In manufacturing paper, the wateimark is placed on the wet pulp by a dandy-roll,jr _
Sometimes,too, a writer dcfinesa word by sayingthe samething twice: '
The road by which wc ascendedwasserpentine,
winding snakelikeup the mountainside.
unfamiliar word becauseit obviously,meanssomethingoppositeta somethingelse:
Liz and Dorothy are very differentin their tastes.Liz likes simplejewclry, while Dorothy
is inclined to choose somethingornate.
Here you can tell thtt ornate must mean the oppositd of simple; Dbrothy likcs claboratc, ornamcntcd
In most cases,however, context clues come from the generalmeaning of a passage,not from any one
spccificword or phrasein it. The other ideasin the selection,combinedwith your gencralknowledgeand
experience,enableyou to unlock the meaning. Remember-that helpful clues arc not neccssarilyin thc
: sentenccwith the unknown term. They may appcar earlicr, or in material that follows.
following appearedin an,article about oid documents.
Documentswhich turn out to be spurroushave often b""o tp""i"lly tr."t"d to g
appearan.. "c ag
ne method il to creatc the ili-usionof folds as old as tbe
-Jikedocumentis supposedto be. This is doneby mechanicalmeansor by ha
wise, the brownish color which normally comes with agc is often imitatcd by using substancesru"hascoffe., tea,tobaccoextract,or smokefrom wood fire.
Does spurt'ousmean "oldr" "hand-written," or "not genuine"? What cluesin the passagetell you ?
As you reodeochPossoge,
try to figureout whottheboldfoceword meons.
the choicesthol follow Write on your poperthe word ond its meoning.
After the meoningof the words in
l, 3, ond5 writeA, B, or C lo indicolewhichtypeof cluein thecontexlhelpedyou most.
A. A directexplonofion
B. A Eluilron o-e-oTliosti
of the possoge
out of date (c) in common use
3. Before P?Perwas generallyavailable,scrjbeswrote on parchment,made from the skins of sheepand
goats,or on vellum,made from the skins of calvesand kids.
(b) special breeds ofanimals raisedfor their tough hidcs
\c) \--specially treatcd animal skins u-Ftd
2. Modern medicinehas made gtT-Ff6.ss
in providing drugs and treatmentsto control diseasesof
' " beart and arteries,to easethe pain of arthritis,
and to cope with the other cruel debilitiesof old age.
1. The Atlas ICBM missileis already obsolescent.
Newer missilcs,suchasthe Titan and the Minuteman,
will do the job bettcr.
obsolescent: (a) highly aenetop(
D O N OT WR IIE ON TH IS C A N D
4. The atmospherewasote of completeand blessedsilence.I got out of the car and walkedabout.The
forest bed was soft and ferny underfoot.There was a quiet p€ac, a deep solitude so profound that it
hardly seemedpossiblewe wereonly ten rnilesfrom ttre noise and dirt and confusion of the city.'When
wp finally left this haven,our spiritswererest
haven: (a) dark, cool cavecut out of the rock
of the mountain
) placeof shelterand safety;
(c) highest part
5. Somebooks say that ice creamwas inventedby a French chef at the court of CharlesI of England.
But this is hardly true. Like so many dishes,ice creamis not so ,1nuchan inventionof a singlepersonat
a particular time as the result of a processof evolutionwhich began with the chilling of wine and other
(a) one man's clever idea (b) new mSbanical devi
6. Corsicanmen, as a class,are noted for their honestyand courtesy-and for an abhorrenccof manual
submitting to her husband'q,iudgment
abborrence: (alabundancc (b)
drudge: (a) neat, well-dressed
does hard, disagreeablewor
(Q spoiled, lazy
7. Corsicanmen are gregarious-extremelf6-nd gLlEigg :Ibreod
having others scethem. To gratify
this needand yet not app€arto be loafing, they have perfectedthe art ofsauntering, which in this contcxt
meansmaking a carefully plannedwalk appear to be quite casual,
(b) foud ef 6king long walks (c) fond of prctty girls
individual is totally
subnerged: (a) coveredwith water
) kept under the influence of
(c) givcn a large measure
9. Among the most tenaciousof the early invaders wcrc the Romans; they managcd to stay for many
hundredsof yearsin spitc of all the efforts of the Corsicansto gqt_rid
tenaciou: (a) cruel; oppressive (b) darin! and bravc
10. In somewaysthe ex-Presidcntis showing the weight of his ycars.His s[oql<lgrEare a little stooped,and
his yg!! is leu-brlsk than it oncc was. He sufrered-" o".t
handclaspis strong, his eyesare bright, and his consumingintercst in everythingunder the sun makes \im
seemmuch youngerthan his eighty-eightyears.
healthy (c) idte
11. A reporter askedMr. Hoover rybethcr it was true that he had never profited personallyfrom his years
in public service."Yes, it's true," he replied;and thcn addcd: "Why should I take pay fot what f"have
-doncfJ-ryas-a boy withlothing,and tbis magni$ecat eountry
my country.Besides,Ididn't needthe money."
(b) reputationas a successful
(c) enoughmoDeyto provide a
the volcanic and the meteoric.The volcanic hypothesisexplains the surface
12. Therc are two hypotbeses,
formations of the moon in terms of the activity of volcanoeson the moon itself. The meteoric hypotbesis
explainsthesesameformationsas the effect of meteoriteswhich struck tbe moon as they moved through
hypothesis:(a) desoiption O) something that has been proved
a theory to explain something \
lar - a- t