Guessing Meaning from Context

Learning how to guess the meaning of a word you don’t is very helpful to improve your reading skills for the EmSAT exam. Since dictionaries are not allowed in the exam, it is likely that you will come across many unfamiliar words in the reading texts.

In order to avoid spending too much time on a single word and to effectively manage your time, you will need to guess the meaning of the word from the surrounding words and the paragraph’s topic.

For instance, if you encounter the word ‘jubilant’ in a sentence that reads “The athlete was jubilant after winning the gold medal,” you can make an educated guess that ‘jubilant’ means very happy since winning a gold medal is a great accomplishment and is usually associated with feelings of happiness and celebration.

It is important to remember that this technique may not always be effective for every word. Only apply this technique to words that seem important for understanding the text. If a word appears less important, it’s better to move on and continue reading. This will save you valuable time, especially if you’re at a lower reading level.

There are several strategies that you can use to guess the meaning of a word from context:

  1. Look for context clues: Context clues are hints that the author provides to help readers understand the meaning of an unfamiliar word. These clues can include definitions, examples, synonyms, antonyms, or explanations.
  2. Look for word parts: Often, the meaning of a word can be inferred by breaking it down into its component parts. Look for prefixes, suffixes, and roots to help you understand the meaning of a word.
  3. Look for related words: Sometimes, an unfamiliar word will be related to other words that you already know. By looking at the context and the related words, you can often figure out the meaning of the unfamiliar word.
  4. Reread the sentence or paragraph: Sometimes, you may not be able to guess the meaning of a word from context on the first read. By rereading the sentence or paragraph, you may be able to gain a better understanding of the context and guess the meaning of the unfamiliar word.

Try guessing the meaning of the underlined words in the sentences below

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