Skill 10: USE CONTEXT TO DETERMINE MEANINGS OF DIFFICULT WORDS
On both the paper TOEFL test and the computer TOEFL test, you may be asked to determine the meaning of a difficult word in a reading passage, a word that you are not expected to know. In this case, the passage will probably give you a clear indication of what the word means. Look at a multiple-choice example from the paper TOEFL test where the context helps you to understand the meaning of an unknown word.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION
What is the meaning of “X” in line Y?
The word “X” in line Y is closest in meaning to…
WHERETO FIND THE ANSWER
Information to help you understand the meaning of an unknown word can often be found in the context surrounding the unknown word.
HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION
1. Find the word in the passage.
2. Read the sentence that contains the word carefully.
3. Look for context clues to help you understand the meaning.
4. Choose the answer that the context indicates.