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The meaning of each word is understood only

within the context of the phrase it is found.


Words are important!

How are words understood?  

A general category of objects (for example, bananas) can be understood when used in any context.

Some words (for example, run) are understood only when used in specific situations or contexts.

Some words carry a feeling that is either negative (for example, pig) or positive (for example, hero.)  


Study the explanations of the following words! 


 A sphere is a three-dimensional circular shape.1

Sasha said he would check out the facilities for the bash.2

When David saw Judy, he told her that she had become old and fat.3

Paul is a heavy-set man.4

The pen was too small for John to use.5


1. Sphere is a general category of a group of objects that are three-dimensional and round.

2. Bash, meaning a festive party, is used in informal speech.                                  

3. Old and fat are words that are offensive to some people.

4. Heavy-set is a tactful way to say "fat."                                                                                         

5. Pen is a homonym that is understood only through the context of the conversation. It could mean an instrument that one uses to write with, or an enclosure to keep animals or children safe.

For further information about semantics:

Click here for the categories of some parts of speech.

Click here for the origins of English words.

Check here for an explanation of homophones and homonyms.