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Understand Word Meaning: Using Context Clues

In this worksheet, students work out the meaning of unfamiliar words in their reading by looking at their context within sentences and short extracts.

'Understand Word Meaning: Using Context Clues' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Vocabulary Awareness

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

When we are reading, we sometimes come across new words. We can often work out what a word means by the context, which means using the words around it to work out what it means.

 

 

In this exercise, you should look at each underlined word and read the rest of the sentence to work out the meaning of the new word in its context.

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

We had never been there so the place he described was totally alien to us.

like a Martian

strange and unfamiliar

clever and competitive

tempting

funny

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

Stealing the charity money was a deplorable thing to do. 

not very careful

quite difficult

quite helpful

disgraceful

a last minute decision

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

The last question was ambiguous, so we didn't know which answer to choose.

the easiest

unclear in meaning

ambitious

about geography

in French

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

Her plans were usually spontaneous, so we never knew what to expect.

made well in advance

quite good

common knowledge

spur of the moment

the same as always

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

The cavemen were hirsute and unattractive, with ape-like features.

quite intelligent

good hunters

fast runners

very rare

hairy and shaggy

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

I remember my great-grandmother's house, with the bank of nasturtiums in the garden.

Barclays

garden birds

orange flowers

bricks

flower beds

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

Their lifestyle was so erratic that the children kept missing school.

chaotic

enjoyable

expensive

lively

stupid

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

He was completely oblivious to what was going on, so he never saw the cyclist pull out.

tired

driving badly

unaware

taking risks

cautious

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

My uncle was kept alive by a pacemaker.

a gadget used by long distance runners

an instrument to regulate heartbeat

someone who likes to resolve quarrels

a timer for cooking

a doctor

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

James was very industrious, so he always handed his homework in on time.

lazy

hard working

like a factory

clever

living in a big town

  • Question 1

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

We had never been there so the place he described was totally alien to us.

CORRECT ANSWER
strange and unfamiliar
  • Question 2

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

Stealing the charity money was a deplorable thing to do. 

CORRECT ANSWER
disgraceful
  • Question 3

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

The last question was ambiguous, so we didn't know which answer to choose.

CORRECT ANSWER
unclear in meaning
  • Question 4

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

Her plans were usually spontaneous, so we never knew what to expect.

CORRECT ANSWER
spur of the moment
  • Question 5

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

The cavemen were hirsute and unattractive, with ape-like features.

CORRECT ANSWER
hairy and shaggy
  • Question 6

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

I remember my great-grandmother's house, with the bank of nasturtiums in the garden.

CORRECT ANSWER
orange flowers
  • Question 7

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

Their lifestyle was so erratic that the children kept missing school.

CORRECT ANSWER
chaotic
  • Question 8

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

He was completely oblivious to what was going on, so he never saw the cyclist pull out.

CORRECT ANSWER
unaware
  • Question 9

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

My uncle was kept alive by a pacemaker.

CORRECT ANSWER
an instrument to regulate heartbeat
  • Question 10

Read the sentence and look at the underlined word. Select the word or phrase below that is closest in meaning to the underlined word.

 

James was very industrious, so he always handed his homework in on time.

CORRECT ANSWER
hard working
---- OR ----

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