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.