Would you like to be able to guess the correct meaning of big words in sentences without checking the dictionary?
In this lesson,
You will see and learn how to guess the meaning of unknown words correctly without using the dictionary and also practice some questions.
The methods explained below are quite good but the best is still to know the actual meaning of the word(s).
So try to study the dictionary for unknown words as often as you can.
How to guess the meaning of unknown words
Let’s take an example.
INSTRUCTION: choose the nearest in meaning to the word in italic.
His father surmounted the “myriad” of obstacles on his way.
- A. few
- B. many
- C. some
- D. little
1. Context of the question
Context refers to the words that come just before and after the word in question.
Let’s say you never knew the meaning of “myriad” but there are two other prominent words in that sentence that can give you an idea.
These words are: “surmounted” and “obstacles”.
“Surmounted” means “overcame” and it’s often used when what is spoken of is great in size or number.
“Obstacles” mean “difficulties” and it’s in plural form which signifies that it was more than just one.
From this context,
You can guess that the “obstacles” were much and so the meaning of “myriad” would be similar to MUCH.
2. Content of the options
According to the instruction,
The correct answer would be nearest in meaning to the word “myriad“.
And since only one option out of four is the correct answer, it means that three of the other options are wrong and similar to each other.
Cancel out those options that looks similar to each other.
- B. many
“few, some and little” are so similar that you can’t pick one and leave the others.
But “many” is not so similar with the others and that makes it stand out as your correct nearest in meaning to “myriad”.
Click on the link below to practice some questions on Nearest in Meaning without using the dictionary.
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