Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
(a). Distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context (e.g., take steps).
(b). Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).
(c). Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).



  • word relationships
  • nuances
  • word meanings
  • literal

  • non-literal
  • context
  • shades of meaning
  • verb

  • adjective
  • states of mind
  • degrees of certainty
  • semantic gradients
  • linear arrays
  • Words are all around us. This standard encourages teachers to help students use language to describe his or her world.
  • Help students to discover that there are many words to describe one object or action.
  • Students need to understand that precise language, or word choice, is essential for meaningful communication.
  • Explore multiple meaning words and idioms for content area learning. For example, explore idioms from a particular time in history or related to scientific thinking.

what's this
  • How does demonstrating an understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings when writing and speaking strengthen language development?
  • How does word choice strengthen or lessen the meaning of the writing?
  • Do my students understand that word choice can change the meaning of a sentence?
  • Do my students understand how word meanings are related; that some words are similar or have multiple meanings?
  • Do my students understand that there are words and phrases that can be used in non-literal ways? How can I help English Language Learners recognize that not all phrases can be taken literally?


Go to L.2.5 to see skills mastered prior to this.