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英语阅读技巧: 通过上下文的线索 提高阅读能力

Improve Your Reading Through Context Clues

通过上下文线索提高阅读能力

When you are reading something in English and you see a word or words you do not know, what do you do? Do you pause and look up the definitions? Or do you put down the reading and find something different to read?

阅读英语文章时遇到不认识的单词你会怎么办?你会停下来把生词的释义查出来吗?还是会丢下手中的内容去换一种不一样的内容阅读?

Neither solution is ideal.

两者都不是理想的解决方案。

Unless you are reading at a level that is clearly too high for you, avoiding reading may leave you feeling defeated. And pausing to look up every word can slow down your reading.

除非你正在读的内容已经明显超出你的能力,否则放弃阅读会让你感到挫败。而暂停阅读去查找释义则会降低阅读速度。

There is a better solution: using context clues.

有一种更好的办法:使用上下文线索。

A context clue is a piece of information that appears near an unknown word or phrase and makes its meaning clearer. Context clues are right there in the text. But sometimes we don't see them.

上下文线索是出现在一个未知的单词或短语附近,使其意思更清楚的一条信息。上下文线索就在文本中。但有时我们看不到它们。

Reading is one of the best ways to improve your English. So in this week's Education Tips, we will talk about four kinds of context clues that can help you become a better reader.

阅读是提高英语的最好方法之一。所以在本周的教育小贴士中,我们将讨论四种上下文线索,它们可以帮助你成为更好的读者。

Tip #1: Synonyms

技巧1:同义词

The first kind is synonyms.

第一种是同义词

As you come across unknown words while reading, look for synonyms. A synonym is a word or phrase that has a similar meaning to the unknown word.

当你在阅读中遇到生词时,寻找同义词。同义词是一个词或短语,与生词意思相近。

Read and listen to this short passage from a Learning English story in 2015 and consider what "fundraiser" means:

阅读并收听2015年学习英语小故事中的这篇短文,并思考一下什么是“资金筹集人”:

Japanese food and music were also served to the 100 or so people who attended the event. This was the third year the fundraiser was held. Money raised from ticket sales – each ticket cost $100 to $150 – supports the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

日本的食物和音乐也提供给了大约100名参加活动的人。这是第三次举办募捐活动。从门票销售中筹集的资金——每张门票100到150美元——用于支持国家樱花节。

Looking at the first sentence, you see an event is being discussed. In the second, the writer replaces the word "event" with the word "fundraiser." When one word replaces another in a text, often it is a synonym. So, you might suppose that a fundraiser is some kind of event.

看第一句话,你看到的是一个正在被讨论的事件。在第二句话中,作者将“event”替换为“fundraiser”。当一个词在文本中代替另一个词时,它通常是同义词。所以,你可以认定“fundraiser”是指某种活动。

The third and fourth sentences say more about the kind of event: it has music and food and is raising money for a festival through ticket sales. And that's often what happens at a fundraiser, which is a ticketed social event that raises money for a cause.

第三和第四句话更多地描述了这类活动:它有音乐和食物,并通过门票销售为节日筹集资金。这经常发生在募捐活动上,这是一个售票的社会活动,为一项事业筹集资金。

Tip #2: Antonyms

技巧2:反义词

The second kind of clue is antonyms.

第二种是反义词。

Antonyms are words that mean the opposite of a word.

反义词指与某个词意思相反的词。

One way to identify an antonym is to look for contrast words, such as "but," "however," "though," "although," "unlike," "whereas" and "despite." These words signal that some opposite idea or meaning is coming.

识别反义词的一种方法是查找对比词,如"but," "however," "though," "although," "unlike," "whereas" and "despite."。 这些词表示意思的转折。

Let's look at this sentence from a recent Learning English story. See if the contrast word "although" helps you understand what a "critic" is.

让我们来看看这个摘自最近的英语学习故事的句子。看看对比词“although”是否有助于你理解什么是"critic" 。

The United States will begin restricting visas to citizens from six other countries on February 21, although critics question the move.

美国将从2月21日开始限制其他六个国家公民的签证,不过批评人士对此举提出质疑。

The first part of the sentence states a policy change on visas. In the second part, the word "although" signals that contrasting information is coming, which is that critics are questioning the new policy. From this, we might guess that a critic is a person who disapproves of something.

句子的第一部分陈述了签证政策的改变。在第二部分,“although”一词暗示了转折的到来,也就是批评家们对新政策的质疑。从这一点,我们可以猜测评论家是一个不赞成某事的人。

Tip #3: Appositives

技巧3:同位语

The third kind of clue is appositives.

第三种是同位语。

An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that comes after another noun, where the second defines the first. That definition will make more sense after looking at the example below. It uses an appositive to explain the meaning of the word "constellation." Here it is:

同位语是跟在另一个名词之后的名词或名词短语,后者定义了前者。在查看下面的示例之后就更能理解了。它用同位语来解释“星座”一词的意义。请看:

Constellations, or groups of stars that form shapes in the sky, usually represent a mythological person or creature or a nonliving object.

星座,或在天空中形成形状的星星群,通常代表一个神话人物或生物或一个非生物。

The sentence uses a comma followed by the word "or" to introduce the appositive "groups of stars that form shapes in the sky." Punctuation is important here: Appositives usually have a comma before and after them.

这个句子在“或”后面加逗号,以介绍“天空中形成形状的星群”。标点符号在这里很重要:同位格的前面和后面通常都有逗号。

But note that sometimes appositives do not use the signal word "or." And be careful -- commas have many purposes in written texts and they do not always signal appositives.

但是请注意,有时同位体不使用信号词“或”。注意——逗号在书面文本中有很多用途,它们并不总是表示同位语。

Tip #4: Examples

技巧4:例子

The fourth kind of clue is examples.

第四种是例子。

Examples can help explain the meaning of a word or idea. In English, the most common ways we introduce examples are with the phrases "for example," "for instance," "such as" and "like."

举例可以帮助解释一个单词或想法的意思。在英语中,我们介绍例子最常见的方式是用"for example," "for instance," "such as" and "like."这样的短语。

Here is a passage from a 2019 Learning English report about superbugs in the United States. See if the example helps you understand the meaning of "superbug."

以下是2019年英语学习报告中关于美国超级细菌的一段话。看看这个例子是否有助于您理解“superbug”的含义。

Superbugs are appearing much more often outside of hospitals, the CDC report said. For example, urinary tract infections have been easily treated in doctor's offices with common antibiotic medicines. But now it is more common to see healthy young women with such infections admitted to hospitals after their treatments do not work, said Doctor Bradley Frazee.

美国疾病控制与预防中心的报告指出,超级细菌在医院外出现的频率要高得多。例如,尿路感染很容易在医生的办公室用普通的抗生素药物治疗。布拉德利·弗雷泽医生表示,但是现在越来越常见的情况是,年轻的健康女性在治疗无效后被送进医院。

So what might a "superbug" be? The example provided is of an infection that is not easily treated with antibiotics anymore. And that is exactly what a superbug is.

那么什么是"superbug"呢?这里提供的例子是一种不容易用抗生素治疗的感染。这就是超级细菌。

Some closing thoughts

一些总结观点。

And now for some closing thoughts.

现在我们来看一些总结观点。

Learning to use context clues can take time. Don't pressure yourself to be great at the skill too quickly.

学习使用上下文线索需要时间。不要急于让自己在这项技能上变得优秀。

Also, it is often not necessary to know the meaning of every word to understand what you are reading. So the next time you come across a word you don't know, ask yourself whether you can understand the sentence without it.

而且,通常没有必要知道每个单词的意思来理解你正在阅读的内容。所以下次当你遇到一个你不认识的单词时,问问自己如果没有它你是否能理解这个句子。

I'm Bryan Lynn.

我是布莱恩·琳恩。

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