Skill 8: FIND DEFINITIONS FROM STRUCTURAL CLUES
When you are asked to determine the meaning of a word in the reading section of either the paper TOEFL test or the computer TOEFL test, it is possible (1) that the passage provides information about the meaning of the word, and (2) that there are structural clues to tell you that the definition of a word is included in the passage. Look at a multiple-choice example from the paper TOEFL test where a structural clue to the meaning of the tested word is included in the passage.
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…
The word “X” in line Y could best be replaced by. . .
WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER
Information to help you determine what something means will generally be found after the punctuation clue, the restatement clue, or the example clue.
HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION
- Find the word in the passage.
- Locate any structural clues.
- Read the part of the passage after the structural clue carefully.
- Eliminate any definitely wrong answers and choose the best answer from the remaining choices.