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What is the context of a word? (Not meaning context clues.)My teacher assigned a graph...

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smiley19 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted August 25, 2009 at 8:04 AM via web

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What is the context of a word? (Not meaning context clues.)

My teacher assigned a graph for us to fill in about each vocab word; we have to write the context of the word the structure and sound of each. I can not figure out the context.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 25, 2009 at 9:12 AM (Answer #1)

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Often people say, "You took that word out of context," or "You took what I said out of context," meaning that what has been said has been changed by not including the words surrounding or after this word/phrase.  The context of a word is the setting of words in which the word rests.  That is, the context is composed of the words that surround that word and determine the meaning of that word. 

As an example of how context determines meaning, compare the meanings of the word sophisticated in the following sentences:

1.  Julie has become a sophisticated woman.

2.  The alarm system installed at the bank is very sophisticated

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