We will often come across words we surely do not understand in a body of work. New words challenge us, but provide a great opportunity for learning new vocabulary. These worksheets will give students practice with words that are new to them and will provide basic strategies for determining their meaning. You can do this many different ways.
Word Power - Help students use power words. This is an advanced sheet.
How to Understand the Meaning of Words You Don't Recognize When Reading?
The English language has an immense vocabulary. It is almost impossible to keep track of all the words that are being used today from the English vocabulary. Often times, people find themselves in distress when they can't decode the meaning of a certain word. They might face this situation while giving an exam where you do not have access to your phone or dictionary. Situations like these can be stressful because you don't always carry a pocket dictionary to look up to for the meaning.
But there are ways to understand the meaning of words that you do not recognize. There are certain ways that would help you in guessing the correct meaning of the word.
Read the Entire Sentence
This is not only the most common method being taught to guess the meaning of the word that you don't recognize, but also the most helpful one. You can reread the sentence several times to understand the context of it. If you can comprehend the context of the sentence without using the word, then you can easily guess the meaning as well. You can also link the guessed meaning of the unknown word with the context of the sentence. If both make sense, then you have probably guessed it right.
Look for Prefixes or Suffixes
Etymology is the study of words. It uses different techniques to understand the meaning of the words and how they changed with time. It includes two major things - prefixes and suffixes. Prefixes are predefined words that are used in the starting of the word while suffixes are used in the ending. For example, anti, intro, micro, omni, etc. are common prefixes. While "ee", "ity" are examples of suffixes. If you can identify any prefixes or suffixes, you have guessed the meaning of half the word.
What to Do When You Come Across a Word You Don't Know?
There are probably thousands of words in the English vocabulary. It is okay to not memorize them all. It is possible that you won't be every required to utilize all the words in the English language. But you might find yourself in a situation when you can't remember the meaning of a word. In such cases, you can use the following tips to understand the meaning of that word.
Understand the context
Whenever you come across a word that you don't know, you can refer to the sentence to know its meaning. Often times, you do not even need the word to understand the context of the sentence. You can reread the sentence again and again to understand what it is trying to say. After you have fathomed the context of the sentence, you can also guess the meaning of that certain word that you got stuck on.
Understand the type of word
If you cannot really understand the context of the sentence right away, you can try to understand the type of word. Figure out if the word is an adjective, noun, or verb. If the word comes before the noun, it means that it is an adjective. If it is indicating an action, it means that it is a verb. After analyzing this, you can check if the word is negative or positive. You can check this by relating the word to the sentence.
Understand the prefix or suffix
Most words in the English language use prefixes and suffixes. You can break the word down into two or three parts. The predefined word in the starting is called a prefix and in the ending is called a suffix. You can learn the meanings of all the prefixes and suffixes to understand the meanings better.