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Word Play

Words in Context

You have seen one way to learn new words: learning the parts of the words and putting them together. That’s a great way to increase your vocabulary, but it’s impossible to learn every single vocabulary word you will ever need to know. So what do you do when you run into a word that you have never seen? The words around the unfamiliar word, called context clues, can help you figure out the meaning. Take a look at the following example:

I like flaumpens.

Do you know what I like? Do you have any idea what I’m talking about? It could be just about anything. What if I said:

I like flaumpens, especially right out of the oven.

Now you have more information! You still don’t know what flaumpens is, but you probably feel fairly comfortable saying that it’s something you cook and probably eat. Let’s add a little more context.

I like flaumpens, especially right out of the oven. The combination of hot pastry and seasoned pork is just about the best taste ever.

Now you know what flaumpens is! Even though I never actually gave you a definition, you can easily figure out that the word refers to a baked pastry with pork in it.