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Try guessing the meaning of the word

Yes, I mean you could try guessing the meaning of a word that is unfamiliar to you. In fact, that is one of the reading skills. That is, you can try to understand what a sentence or paragraph means without looking up the unfamiliar words in the dictionary. 

Try guessing the meaning of the words highlighted in bold:

1. 'The patient's care may be jeopardized, and the patient may be harmed.'

2. 'The health professional has a right to financial remuneration from the patient.'

3. 'No one at that time could have predicted the tumultuous changes in health care.' 

Although you may not be familiar with the three highlighted words, you may have guessed what they mean. Yes, the meaning of 'jeopardized' is similar to that of 'harmed'; 'remuneration' may mean money or something related to 'finance'; 'tumultuous' changes may mean great or exciting changes. 

So you can guess the meaning of an unfamiliar word in the context. That is to say, you don't need to look up every unfamilar word you encounter - don't stop your reading just because you need to consult a dictionary for the meaning of a new or rarely-used word. 

It makes sense because you don't need to recognize every word in a blog or article. Chances are you'll fail to recognize the word next time even though you have looked it up in a dictionary. Don't try to memorize all the new words, some of which you may come across just once in a lifetime.

Avoid reading something that is full of such unfamilar words - it's no fun reading something which is too difficult for you. Sometimes, though, you have to guess the meaning of a word when you're taking an English test, during which you may not be allowed to look up words in a dictionary. It helps, though, if you know how to guess what a word means:))

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Comment by Expector Smith yesterday

Hi Diah,

Yes, sometimes you have to guess the meaning, for example, if you're taking TOEFL and some of the words are not familiar to you - you're not allowed to use a dictionary when sitting a test, so you have to guess the meaning by looking at the context. 

Comment by Diah on Tuesday
This kind of similar meaning always comes in English test (I only have tried TOEFL test). So, if I meet such this exam, I better to guess it right?

Comment by Expector Smith on Saturday

Hi Onee,

Thanks for commenting. Yes, some words seem to be so difficult to memorize - you may have to look them up again next time you see them. Sometimes you recognize the word but fail to know what it means. 

Sometimes I look a word up just for its pronunciation. That is to say, I know its meaning but aren't sure if I really know how to pronounce it. 

You don't need to look up every word you don't recognize or aren't familiar with, as mentioned in the blog or comments. 

Comment by Onee-chan on May 19, 2017 at 4:14

Dear Doc,

It's true that I often forgot though I'd looked up the dictionary a few times. -_- It's not easy to remember new words. Btw, I was about to play the word 'tumultuous' in Guess My Word game. But I think I'll find another now. :D

It's something unforgettable when we enter the hall and get a tumultuous applause from all the audience. ^^

I can't guess the meaning sometimes, immediately I look up the dictionary. That's my habit. 'Coz My fingers cross so fast and good at it. :D

Thanks for the tip.

Comment by Expector Smith on May 14, 2017 at 8:01


Thanks for commenting. What I really want to convey is that sometimes you don't need to look up the new or unfamiliar word in a dictionary, just guessing the meaning of the word, especially when you're taking an English test or you don't want to stop the reading because of such a word.

You'd better look a word up, however, if there is no way you'll be able to guess it or the word is so important for you to understand the sentence or the word has appeared more than one time. 

Chances are you'll look the word up again next time you encounter it,  because some words can be so hard to memorize.

Comment by Angel on May 13, 2017 at 19:14

wooow, I am really very happy I know the meaning of first two sentences.

jeopardize means risk/risky or we can say hazardous or Danger.

the meaning of remuneration I know in my mother tongue. It's like something we pay for official work, for example, we travel for official work and later we get the money back office pays it for us.

The third one is just my guess, the meaning of tumultuous maybe extreme or excessive.

Thanks for sharing this blog ^_^

Comment by Expector Smith on May 13, 2017 at 13:24

Thanks, Ousmane!

Comment by Ousmane Ouedraogo on May 11, 2017 at 16:07

Thank for sharing

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