14 Closely Guarded Tips For Conquering Cloze Passages

By: Rosalind Ong
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Day  3: Give Me A Clue (II)

Hi, I’m Teacher Rosalind from Fun Language Learning. This is the third article of the 14 Closely Guarded Cloze Tips series brought to you by LearnSuperMart and Fun Language Learning.

As a bilingual specialist, I help Primary and Secondary school students achieve their desired grades in English and Chinese by guiding them to develop effective language learning strategies and skills.

1. Background Clues are just as important as Language Clues in identifying suitable words that fit the blanks.

Here are some examples of Background Clues. Have a go at the blanks and check the suggested answers below.

Background Clue

What is it?

Ask yourself



States a few things that belong to the same category or gives examples

Is there a colon (:)?

Are there words like ‘and’ and ‘include’?

What is a logical thing to list under this category?

I always carry these items in my wallet: coins, notes and my family i) _________.



Gives more information about a concept or subject

Does the next sentence explain the one before that?

Is there a semicolon (;) or dash (--) in the sentence before?

Jwenda has an excellent memory. She can ii) _________ random events that happened a few weeks ago.


States the similarity between two things




Is the blank enclosed in commas?

Are there words like ‘also’ which suggest similarities?

Is there a synonym I can use?

Hong Kong is densely populated, just as Singapore iii)_________.


States the difference between two things

Are there words like ‘but’ which suggest differences?

Is there an antonym I can use?

Sue is anxious about the results but Jack is

iv) _______about it.

Cause and effect

States the reason and result

Are there words like ‘so’ which suggest a cause-effect relationship?

I had been practising hard so I was not surprised that the performance turned out v) _______.



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Posted on 27/09/2017

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