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Reading Comprehension
Volume 5, Number 18, January 31, 2000

Word Meanings in Context - Antonyms

Somewhere in each selection you will find a pair of words in parenthesis. These words will be antonyms, or opposites. Underline the word that makes sense in the context. Use a dictionary if you’re not sure of the meanings of both antonyms.

1. Mr. Surfer was a very good teacher. Everyone agreed that kids learned a lot when they spent a year in his fifth grade class. Some kids did wish that he would be a little (lenient, strict) about the rules. If anyone so much as whispered during study time or happened to forget a homework assignment, he or she was in big trouble.

2. Jennifer was very (gullible, skeptical). We found it all too easy to convince her that a mummy was roaming around in her cellar. As we added more and more crazy details to our story, she grew more frightened. Finally, we decided it was best to confess that it was just a hoax.

3. Sometimes Chad can be very (insensitive, sensitive) to others’ feelings. Do you remember the time that Julie told us she was taking a beauty course? Chad said that it must be a miracle course. He was trying to be funny, but her feelings were really hurt. He didn’t mean what he said. The problem is that he didn’t think about how Julie would take the comment.

4. All the trees and all the flowers,
Sunlit clouds that (chill, warm) the sky,
All the gentle April showers,
They have worth we can’t deny.

All the manmade golden treasures,
They have value. They have style.
I’ve found more than all their measure
In the beauty of your smile.

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