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Home > English > Close reading exam > Inference questions

English

Inference questions

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Introduction

Have a look at this extract -

"The men walked down the streets to the mine with their heads bent close to their chests. In groups of five or six they scurried on. It was impossible to recognise individuals from the small gaps between their caps, pulled down over their eyes, and the tightly bound scarves tied tightly over the bottom half of their faces".

Now answer this question -

What was the weather like as the men walked to the mine?

You should have been able to work out that it was very cold and windy. You probably arrived at this answer because you associated hats pulled down and scarves with winter or cold weather at least. You know from personal experience people keep their heads down when walking against the wind and the author gave you another clue with the word "scurried" which suggests the men were hurrying to reach their destination.

To tackle this question you have used the skill of inferring. This is sometimes called 'reading between the lines'. Writers expect you to use this skill to get the most out of any piece of reading.

So, to really understand a piece of reading you need to be like Sherlock Holmes and be a first class detective!

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Atlantic rower Debra Veal.

Class Clips

Video clip - an example of a response to descriptive writing

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