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Meaning of Words and Phrases
Using Context Clues
Figurative or Colloquial Language
Denotative and Connotative Meanings
Synonyms and Antonyms
Main Idea, Supporting Details, and Structure
Purpose and Point of View
Critical Reasoning Skills
Practice Reading Tests

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Meaning of Words and Phrases

Use Context Clues to Determine the Meaning of a Word

Using the “context” means finding clues that authors leave elsewhere in the sentence or passage to help readers determine meaning.

For example:

“I had the run of their library”

uses a familiar word in a context that is not so familiar. When you read the sentence, the phrase of their library is a clue that helps you choose the proper definition, “unrestricted freedom or use of.”

Besides actual clue words, context hints can also come from punctuation marks like commas or dashes.

For example:

“The run of the leather, the direction of the grain, allows a buyer to tell how many pieces of leather were used.”

The two commas actually enclose the definition of run used in the sentence.