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Use Context Clues to Determine the Meaning of a Word: Definitions and Examples

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Basics on the topic Use Context Clues to Determine the Meaning of a Word: Definitions and Examples

Learn what allusions are and how we can use context clues to help work out the meaning of them within sentences.

Transcript Use Context Clues to Determine the Meaning of a Word: Definitions and Examples

"All right, I think this is the one! No, no, maybe this one!" "Oh Ari just pick one, it's getting late and you know I'll turn into a pumpkin if I'm out after eight!" "Zayd, what do you mean?" Let's learn about 'context clues - allusions', to figure out what Zayd means! Allusions are figures of speech that mention a historical or literary person or event that is well-known in writing. They are used by authors to enhance the visualisation and comprehension of an object, event, character or time period. When we aren't familiar with the meaning of these words and phrases, we can use context clues to determine the meaning of the allusion. Remember, context clues are hints found within a sentence, paragraph, or passage that help the reader understand new words or phrases. Zayd said, 'I'll turn into a pumpkin if I'm out after eight!' We can figure out what this means by looking for context clues. We know Zayd turning into a pumpkin isn't going to happen, but if he did, it probably wouldn't be the best situation to be in. Since we know turning into a pumpkin isn't ideal, we can predict that Zayd can't stay out past eight. In the story Cinderella, the pumpkin turned into the carriage that took her to the ball and the Fairy Godmother warned that if she was not back in time, it would turn back into a pumpkin. Zayd used the allusion of turning into an object, in this case, a pumpkin, to describe how strongly he feels about being home before eight. Let's try another. Ari cried wolf so many times that when the pizza finally got there no one believed them. What does this phrase mean? We know that no one believed the pizza was there and the phrase 'finally got there' shows it took longer than expected, and no one believing Ari when it arrived shows they may have lied or joked around before. The phrase, 'cried wolf' comes from the Aesop fable about a boy who lies about seeing a wolf so many times that when he actually sees one, no one believes him. The allusion 'cried wolf' describes how Ari lied or joked about the pizza arriving to trick others. Here's another example. It said: 'You're a real Einstein when it comes to maths; you got every problem correct!' What does this phrase mean? We know that if someone got every problem correct, they probably have a good understanding. Einstein refers to the famous physicist who is well known for being very intelligent. The allusion to Einstein is used to explain that someone is very intelligent. Let's look at one more example. ‘I quickly assembled the bike; it was easy like Sunday morning.' What does this phrase mean? We know that if someone put something together quickly, it was probably easy. Why do you think the author used this allusion? The allusion to it being easy like Sunday morning is used to explain how easy something is since the idea that Sundays are supposed to be restful and not difficult is popular. Before we see which pumpkin Ari and Zayd choose, let's remember. Allusions are figures of speech that mention a historical or literary person or event that is well-known in writing. They are used by authors to enhance the visualisation and comprehension of an object, event, character, or time period. When we aren't familiar with the meaning of the allusion, we can use context clues to determine what it means. "Remember when I said I would turn into a pumpkin? Well, how do we know if these are pumpkins and not people!?" "Zayd we just went over that's not what it… never mind."