Context Clues

What do you do when you don’t know a word you read?

Have you ever felt discouraged because it’s hard to read and understand English? Don’t give up!

Maybe you don’t understand the word “discouraged,” but you understand everything else.

In this case, you can ask yourself, “what other words in the sentence help to tell me the meaning of the word I don’t know?”

If you understand “felt,” then you know the next word must be some type of feeling. Felt how? Felt happy? Felt sad? Is “discouraged” probably a positive or negative word?

If you know “hard,” you can guess that “discouraged” is a negative word.

After you read, “Don’t give up!” you can be sure that “discouraged” is a negative word because there must be a reason a person would want to give up if they have to be told not to do it.


When you read, concentrate on clues such as pictures or other words in the sentence to help you understand.

What word/s could help you if you didn’t know the meaning of “clues”?

Read more to see the answer.

The words “such as pictures” tell you that pictures are an example of clues.

The words “help you understand” tells you what clues do.

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