A DepEd-BEAM Distance Learning Program supported by the Australian Agency for International Development
DECODING MEANING OF UNFAMILIAR WORDS
USING CONTEXT CLUES
How are you today?
In your previous module you’ve learned about words with multiple
meanings. This module will guide you how to get the exact meaning of
a word by using it in context.
This module will help you use context clues which means “to get
the meaning of the word as it is used with other words.” Therefore, the
words that precede and follow an unfamiliar word will help you get its
Select the best definition of the boldface word in each sentence
from the choices given. Write the letter of the definition in the blank.
______ 1. At the end of the term the manager received one thousand
pounds as retirement pension.
a. strikes heavily
b. units of money
c. units of weight
______ 2. After examining the cause, the archaeologist pronounced
them the finest gallery of prehistoric art.
a. testing the condition
b. inspecting closely
c. inquiring carefully
To the Learner
Let’s Try This
Let’s Learn This
______ 3. The green trees and the bright sunshine were something to
a. radiating; reflecting
b. intelligent; clever
c. lively; cheerful
______ 4. We are team, designing and creating the festival hats.
a. plotting against someone
b. sketching outline for a project
c. projecting mental schemes
______ 5. The gentleman was spotting an attractive tie.
a. to secure with string or the like
b. same score
c. necktie used as part of men’s attire
• Are you done?
• Were all your answers like these?
1. units of money
2. inspecting closely
3. radiating; reflecting
4. sketching outline for a project
5. necktie used as part of men’s attire
• Write your score inside the big flower.
• Let’s move on to the next activity.
Study the following paragraph. Find out the correct meaning of
draft by studying the context.
• Note the italicized word draft in the paragraph. Let’s look at its
meaning by studying the context.
(1) draft – a current air
(2) draft – a plan
(3) draft – a written order for money payable to a bank
(4) draft – to select or draw money
(5) draft – to drink or something taken in.
• When we use context clues in learning the meaning of a word, we
read the words that follow it and then derive its meaning from
them or from the context.
Let’s Study This
A strong draft had blown the window open. With a
loud clutter, it blew away the window shutter. Shivering,
Cindy got up the bed to draft a temporary replacement for
the shutter until daybreak. As soon as the bank opened, she
would encash the draft her mother had sent so she could
buy a good window shutter. Then she would draft her
friends to help put up the shutter. She would reward her
friends with a cold draft of fruit juice.
The heavy rain muffles the loud music in the bedroom that’s
why the baby’s sleep remains undisturbed.
• Which word in the sentence means “to deaden the sound of” or
“to keep down”? The word muffle means “to keep down.”
What is the correct meaning of each italicized word? Choose your
answer from the box opposite each set. Write only the letter.
(Note: Numbers 1 and 2 correspond to 3 points each. Number 3
corresponds to 4 points.)
1. ______ A. Each child had brought
his/her racket for the
game. a. plan for getting
b. metal or wooden
hoop for playing
c. loud noise
______ B. What a racket they
made as they played their
______ C. What racket can I make
to take advantage of this
2. ______ A. The hunters wanted to
get some leopards but the
quarry was too clever for
a. excavation from
which stone is taken
by cutting or
b. cutting, digging for
or taking stones
c. animal being
______ B. We went to the quarry
to get some stones for our
______ C. In some places,
quarrying is prohibited to
Let’s Do This
3. ______ A. I will never forget the
date February 14.
a. oblong, sweet, juicy
b. obsolete or old-
c. point of time
d. an appointment
______ B. Somebody gave us a
package of date.
______ C. We ate so much of the
exotic food that we had to
make a date with the
______ D. Instead of the modern
dental laboratory we
expected to see, the
dentist’s equipment was
• Are you done?
• Look at the Answer Key to check your answers.
• What’s your score in? _________
• Let’s continue…Do your best this time.
Directions: Use the context clues to the sentences to find the
meanings of the bold faced words. Write your answer in your
1. Jane was a wizard at games. She mastered them in no time and
evil magician gifted person average player
Let’s Do More
A context clue is a clue or hint from the sentence that
helps you to figure out words that you don’t know.
Context clues help you figure out the meaning of a word
by relating it to other words in the sentence or this simply
means that we get the meaning of a word by studying its
relationship with other words in the sentence. Some clues are
more obvious than the others.
2. The holiday was so special that she was sure she’d never forget it.
The memory would be imprinted forever in her mind.
found weighed fixed
3. “John will believe anything anyone tells him,” his teacher said.
“He’s a very impressionable young man.”
easily influenced unhappy unintelligent
4. “Do you really think it’s prudent to spend all your money on
clothes?” his mother asked crossly.
foolish wise funny
5. “Your plan has merit,” Elizabeth’s father said. “Let me give it
value awards kindness
6. John was very gregarious and loved being around people.
shy outgoing unfriendly
• Are you done?
• Look at the Answer Key again to check your answers.
• How much did you get? __________
• Very Good! That’s better.
Let’s Remember This
Let’s take a look at the example.
Read and choose the best meaning of the underlined
word by using the context clue.
______ 1. A choreographer is someone who creates dance
compositions and designs dance movements and
patterns for dance.
a. one who designs houses
b. one who designs dances
c. one who dances
______ 2. It was a horrible experience, quite unlike the
glorious moment she has dreamed of.
d. both b and c
• Do we have the same choices?
• For number 1. it’s letter b
2. it’s letter c
A. Context Clues: Leonardo da Vinci
Directions: Read the sentences below. Use the context clues to figure
out the meaning of the bold words. Write your answer in your
1. Some people are perplexed when they look at The Last Supper, but
others understand it immediately.
unhappy happy puzzled
Let’s Test Ourselves
2. Because his model felt melancholy about the death of her child, da
Vinci had music played to lift her spirits as he painted the Mona Liza.
sad unfriendly hostile
3. Because da Vinci’s work is so famous, many people erroneously
assume that he left behind many paintings. In fact, he left only 20.
rightly correctly wrongly
4. Leanardo da Vinci was not like most other people. He didn’t care
what others thought of him-he led an interesting and unconventional
dull not ordinary ordinary
5. The composition of the The Last Supper is superb. All the parts of
the painting seem to fit together beautifully.
The picture frame parts of the picture
6. Leonardo’s genius set him apart from people with ordinary minds.
He never married, he had few friends and he spent much of his time
great mental abilities great physical abilities
improper way to do things proper way to do things
7. Because he was a loner, da Vinci worried no one would come to his
funeral when he died. In his will, he set aside 70 cents each to hire 60
mourners to accompany his body to his grave.
friends people who grieve people who smile
B. Context Clue: Passenger Cars
Directions: Read the information about passenger cars. Use context
clues to determine the meaning of words in bold. Check the correct
In the United States, it wasn’t long before passenger cars were
lengthened to hold more people. Late in the 1830s, Americans were
riding in elongated cars with double seats on either side of a center
aisle. By the early 1900s, most cars were made of metal instead of
Sleeping and dining cars were introduced in the United States by
the early 1860s. Over the next 25 years other improvements were
made, including electric lighting, steam heat and covered vestibules
that allowed passengers to walk between cars. All of these luxuries
helped make railroad travel much more comfortable.
1. Based on the other words in the sentence, what is the correct
definition of hazards?
engines risks stations
2. Based on the other words in the sentence, what is the correct
definition of collision?
crash race track
3. Based on the other words in the sentence, what is the correct
definition of elongated?
wooden new lengthened
Early railroad passenger
cars were little more than
stagecoaches fitted with special
wheels to help them stay on the
tracks. They didn’t hold many
passengers, and because they
were made out, they were fire
hazards. They also did not hold
up very well if the train came off
the track or had a collision with
4. Based on the other words in the sentence, what is the correct
definition of vestibules?
passageways cars depots
5. Based on the other words in the sentence, what is the correct
definition of luxuries?
additions things offering the greatest comfort
Who’s Invisible Now?
By Karleen Bradford
1“Don’t sit on Eleonor!” Jane screamed, causing her mother’s best
friend to leap back up from the chair on which she was about to sit, and
spill her tea. Mrs. Tripp looked resignedly at Mrs. Lister.
2“Eleanor’s still with us, I see,” she said mopping at the spilled tea
on her lap with her handkerchief.
3“Really, Jane, this business of your invisible friend is becoming a
nuisance,” Mrs. Lister said, running for the paper towels.
4“I’m sorry, Mrs. Tripp,” Jane said. “She was just sitting there for a
minute waiting for me to come so we could go up to my room.”
5“Er, Jane dear,” Mrs. Tripp said, looking at her over the top of her
huge, black-rimmed glasses, “don’t you think you’d be happier with a
real friend? My Susie would love to see more of you, I know.”
6Jane didn’t answer.
7Later on, when Mrs. Lister had come in to turn Jane’s light off for
the night for the third time, she looked down at Jane and sighed.
8“Mrs. Tripp is right, you know dear. You are really much too old
to have an imaginary friend. That’s what little children do, and you’re
“Jane! Susie’s certainly not spy.”
9“Eleanor is not imaginary,” Jane replied sulkily, “she’s just
invisible, that’s all. And you’re always telling me to be loyal to my
friends, so why shouldn’t that include Eleanor? And Susie’s not a
‘delighted, well-adjusted child,’ she’s a fink.”
10“Really, dear! That word!”
11“It’s not bad word. It’s in the dictionary. I looked it up the last
time you told me not to say it. If it’s all right for the dictionary it
should be all right for me, and it sure describes Susie. Fink: Spy,
informer. Unsavory person; jerk. That’s Susie.”
12“Jane! Susie’s certainly not a spy.
13“Oh, yes she is. She’s the one who told my whole class about
Eleanor, after you told her mother. She eavesdropped when you two
were talking, and then she told the whole world. That’s a spy. And
she’s a jerk, because Eleanor said so.”
14“Oh, dear,” Mrs. Lister sighed, and left the room, forgetting
to turn the light out after all.
15Jane sighed too, and turned the light off herself. She didn’t
really mind people not believing in Eleanor-after all, she couldn’t
really expect them to-but it did make things difficult at times.
16The next morning, as she was coming down the stairs to
breakfast, she heard her mother and father talking. She didn’t mean
to eavesdrop-goodness knows, she wasn’t a spy-but she couldn’t
help overhearing her mother say,
17“I don’t know what to do about this Eleanor business, I really
18“Maybe if we got her busy doing other things,” her father
suggested brightly. “Maybe that would take her mind off Eleanor for
19The next week happened to be a holiday, and Jane was
certainly kept busy. Her mother had something different planned for
every day of the week: movies one day, puppet show the next,
shopping for shoes the next, visit to Susie’s house (Ugh) the next.
Her father even stayed home from work one day and took her to the
zoo. She had a marvelous time.
20The evening before school started again her mother and
father called her back into the living room just as she was going to
21“Did you enjoy yourself over the holiday?” they asked,
looking at her expectantly.
22“Oh, I certainly did,” Jane answered, her eyes shining. “And
so did Eleanor. Every minute of it, except for the visit to Susie’s. She
bounced out the room.
23Her mother looked at her father with despair.
Using Context Clues
Directions: Look at each number in parenthesis. Find the paragraph
with the same number in the story. See how the word below is used in
the paragraph. Decide whether its meaning is a or b. Write the letter of
your answer in the blank. Number 1 is done for you.
a 1. paper (3)
a. made of paper
b. a written composition
______ 2. down (7)
a. to or towards a lower place or position
b. to end or drink something quickly
______ 3. little (8)
a. small in size
b. small in quantity
______ 4. class (13)
a. high quality
b. group of pupils
They admired their neighbors’ lawns and gardens, stopped in for
an ice-cream cone-very unusual this, so close to dinner time and
after all those cookies, too, thought Jane-talked about school, then
started back home. Mrs. Lister began to explain all over again
about invisible playmates and almost ten-year-old girls, but Jane
suddenly interrupted her.
28“Just a moment, Mom,” she said politely, “Eleanor think
her mother’s calling her.”
29“Eleanor!” exploded Mrs. Lister. “What have I just been
telling you? ELEANOR DOESN’T EXIST!”
30Just then, out of the thin air only a childsbreath away from
Jane, a mother’s impatient voice cried out:
31“Really, Eleanor, this business of your invisible friend Jane
______ 5. mind (15)
a. to be troubled
b. way of thinking
______ 6. mean (16)
a. to have as a purpose
b. a middle point between extremes
______ 7. off (18)
a. not being at one’s best
b. away from
______ 8. time (27)
a. a period
b. rate of speed
• Are you done?
• Look at the Answer Key to check your answers.
• What is your score?
• If you got 14-19, Congratulations! Proceed to the next module.
• If your score is 9-13, answer the next activity “Let’s Enrich
• If your score is 8 and below, review the whole module.
Understanding Context Clues
Directions: For each sentence, circle the pair of words that complete
the meaning of the sentence.
1. Their profits have been __________, and they wish to __________ their
a. decreasing - excuse
b. declining - remedy
c. comfortable – redness
2. Rats provide a __________ in reducing garbage, but this is
outweighed by their __________ activities.
a. help - useful
b. trouble - dynamic
c. service - harmful
3. Fact and Fancy were so _________ that no one could _________ them.
a. connected – separate
b. necessary – use
c. respected – want
4. If one is to understand the __________, one must study the _________.
a. facts – unnecessary
b. unusual – sentences
c. whole- parts
5. His father __________ him, for he realized the interest was more than
a __________ fancy.
a. encouraged – childish
b. berated – sincere
c. helped – mature
6. Safe driving prevents __________ and the awful _________ of knowing
you have caused an accident.
a. disease – remainder
b. accidents – safe
c. tragedy – remorse
• Are you done?
• Look at the Answer Key to check your answers.
• What is your score? __________
• Very Good! Job well done.
• Proceed to the next module.
Let’s Do This Let’s Do More Let’s Test Ourselves
1. b A. 1. gifted person A.
c B. 2. fixed 1. puzzled
a C. 3. easily influenced 2. sad
4. wise 3. wrongly
2. c A. 5. value 4. not ordinary
a B. 6. outgoing 5. parts of the picture
b C. 6. great mentor
7. people who grieve
3. c A. B.
a B. 1. risks
d C. 2. crash
b D. 3. lengthened
Let’s Enrich Ourselves 5. things offering the
1. declining – remedy
2. service – harmful C.
3. connected – separate a. 1.
4. whole – parts Start here
5. encouraged – childish a 2.
6. tragedy – remorse a 3.
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