Skill 11: USE CONTEXT TO DETERMINE MEANINGS OF SIMPLE WORDS
On both the paper TOEFL test and the computer TOEFL test, you may be asked to determine the meaning of a simple word in a reading passage, a word that you see often in everyday English. In this type of question, you should not give the normal, everyday meaning of the word; instead, a secondary meaning of the word is being tested, so you must determine the meaning of the word in this situation. Look at a multiple-choice example from the paper TOEFL test where a secondary meaning is the best answer to the question.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION
What is the meaning of”X”in lineY?
The word “X”in line Y could best be replaced by…
WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER
Information to help you understand the secondary meaning of a simple
word can often be found in the context surrounding the word.
HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION
- Find the word in the passage.
- Read the sentence that contains the word carefully.
- Look for context clues to help you understand the meaning.
- Choose the answer that the context indicates.