Tips for learning English: 8 – Guess the meaning of words

Tips for learning English: 8 – Guess the meaning of words

Deduce meaning from context. This is a tip that most teachers use and it works well for more advanced learners of English or students preparing for exams such as IELTS or CAE/FCE. If you’re reading and you don’t understand one word, try to figure it out, try to guess the meaning of the word. Try to see if you can understand the context of the sentence and what that word might mean in context. Is it a positive or negative word? What kind of word is it – noun, verb, adjective, adverb? Is the word used to show contrast? What is the sentence about and what is the tone of the writer? Can you understand the general meaning of the whole sentence or paragraph without understanding one or two words? Sometimes this doesn’t always work but if it’s just one word you don’t understand, you probably can continue without needing to know it. You can write it down and look it up later. Happy reading!

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