Even for readers with extensive vocabularies, there are just too many words. It’s almost guaranteed that there will come a time when they encounter a word that they don’t know. So what do you do when that moment arrives? Skip it, guess it, or search it?
You read the word, don’t know it, but don’t get caught up in the details. In fact it doesn’t even cross your mind to examine the word further because you’re to bust living in the world of the characters.
Inferring and guessing meanings of unfamiliar words is a strategy that readers develop and hone over time. Guessing a word usually occurs in one of two ways. Figuring it out through context and if context doesn’t help, there’s breaking down and analyzing the word. Bone up on your Latin and Greek.
You might be pretty sure about what the word means or completely without a clue but either way you’re going to double check with the nearest dictionary. After all it never hurts to be sure.
How do you react when you come across a word you don’t know while reading? Is it always the same way?