What Is a Context Sentence?

A context sentence is a type of reference sentence in speaking or writing that adds necessary meaning to a specific word or passage. According to Dictionary.com, the context sentence appears either before or after the idea. The word "context" literally means "a weaving or joining together."

Words and ideas used in speaking and writing do not always stand on their own but instead depend on the ideas surrounding them to weave the message together. A context sentence helps to explain the intended meaning of words and ideas and connect them to the entire piece. Students are encouraged to look for context clues when they do not know the meaning of a word or passage. The clues found in context sentences give additional information to help the reader know exactly what the author is saying. When a word or phrase is "taken out of context," its meaning often changes, and the listener or reader misunderstands the point.