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Sentences 5 - Meaning of Words
The dog barked sharply as it saw a thief entering the house.

Sentences 5 - Meaning of Words

While reading written text you often come across words that you are not familiar with and you want to reach for a dictionary immediately. Before you do that, just spend a little time in understanding the context of the text and the sentences. You might be able to learn the meaning of the word from clues that are in the sentences themselves.

As you know, the last four quizzes have been on the subject of sentences and we saw that sentences come in several types such as interrogative sentences, assertive sentences, imperative sentences and exclamatory sentences. We also saw how phrases are used in sentences and learnt how to convert a sentence into a question. As we have said in the past, sentences comprise words drawn from different parts of speech and are constructed using the rules of grammar. The writer uses creativity to construct sentences and his choice of words is unique and more often than not different from those of another writer. Because of this the reader may find words that they don’t know the meaning of.

When we are faced with a word we do not know, usually the sentence itself provides us with the meaning. This task is made easier if we first find out what kind of a sentence it is, what phrases are used and what question, if any, the sentence is asking. After you have identified the sentence and its elements it may be possible to understand the meaning of an unfamiliar word.

In the sentence ‘His EXPERTISE is well demonstrated by his correct recall of the formula’ we get a clue in the phrase ‘correct recall of the formula.’ We can deduce that EXPERTISE means 'to possess expert knowledge or skill'.

Another example is the sentence ‘AB DeVilliers played a SCINTILLATING knock for which he was chosen the man of the match’ in which the fact of being chosen as a man of the match gives a clue to the meaning of SCINTILLATING, which is 'brilliant or animated.'

Play this quiz and see how many of the meanings you can make out from the sentences themselves without referring to a dictionary.

1.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "The court BARRED her from going out of the city because she was the main suspect in the case"?
To be prevented from leaving the city.
To not practice as a lawyer.
To be jailed.
To be liberated.
'She was the main suspect in the case' is the clue that helps us to understand the meaning of the word
2.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "The dog barked SHARPLY as it saw a thief entering the house"?
In a soft manner.
In a musical sound.
Woof Woof.
Clearly defined and distinct.
Since the dog sees a thief it sounds an alarm through its sharp barking, which is different from its normal barking
3.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "He reeked of HYPOCRISY as he blatantly lied about his health condition"?
To increase or boost.
To behave in a way contrary to known behaviour.
To be unhealthy.
To behave normally.
The fact that he is lying indicates that 'hypocrisy' is 'to pretend to be something that you are not'
4.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "It is no longer a HASSLE to pay the bills as many more counters have been opened"?
Inconvenience.
Ease.
Effortless.
Convenience.
The fact that more counters were opened resulted in no hassles could only mean that inconvenience was removed
5.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "Coal stocks at power plants have DIPPED to their lowest level in 25 years"?
Inflated.
Increased.
Ascended.
Decreased.
The fact that the stocks were the lowest in 25 years indicates that 'dipped' should mean decreased. All the other options mean 'grew' which is an antonym of 'dipped'
6.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "The team COMPRISING 5 bowlers and 6 batsmen is expected to do well"?
Prised out.
Disbanded.
Consisting of.
Complicating.
'5 bowlers and 6 batsmen', all members of the team, gives us the clue that comprising means 'consisting of'
7.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "The company REDEFINED its manufacturing goals with the construction of the new plant"?
To start all over again.
To close down.
To give new meaning to something that already exists.
To break down into manageable parts.
The construction of a new plant indicates that something new is happening
8.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "He was at the court in connection with an ONGOING legal case between him and his partner"?
Still in progress, continuing.
Speeding.
Stalling.
Slowing.
A legal case is pursued until a judgment is given. He was at the court and this signifies that the case is still in progress
9.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "The inclement weather DETERRED him from venturing out in his new car"?
Determined.
Discouraged or restrained from going ahead.
Detrimental.
Decided.
'The new car' and 'inclement weather' indicate that he restrained himself from going out as he did not want to spoil his new car in the bad weather
10.
What is the meaning of the word in capitals in the sentence - "The Prime Minister DEDICATED the new power plant to the nation"?
Inaugurated.
Laid the foundation stone.
To shut down.
Devoted to a particular cause or purpose.
'To the nation' is the clue that indicates that 'dedicated' is something which is 'devoted' to a particular cause. Here the power plant is dedicated to the nation so that the country has electricity
Author:  V T Narendra

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