Getting The Gist

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Gist the meaning

Getting The Gist

Being able to get to the gist allows you to read more efficiently and more effectively. When you’re reading in a foreign language, you should try to get the gist of the text. You will meet vocabulary you don’t recognize, but you can often go through the text again. If so, try this:

 Identify the new words and phrases which seem to be important. Try to guess the meaning from the context, and/or use a dictionary.

 Keep a record of the words in a notebook, and if possible, make a note of any special information. For example, is the word formal or informal? Is it used in a particular kind of construction, e.g. a verb that is often followed by a preposition?

 Write a translation if you think it helps; sometimes it isn’t necessary.

Get the gist of the text.

Meet vocabulary you don’t recognize.

Go through the text again.

Identify the new words.

Guess the meaning from the context.

Keep a record of the words.

Make a note of any special information.

Write a translation if necessary.

Oxford Learners Dictionaries defines gist as the main or general meaning of a piece of writing, a speech or a conversation. It’s what the author spent all that time and all those words trying to deliver to you. Being able to get to the gist allows you to read more efficiently and more effectively. It allows you to read with purpose.

Gist /dʒɪst/ = the general or basic meaning of something said or written — usually + of.

Example:

⭕ I missed the beginning of the lecture—can you give me the gist of what he said?

⭕ I’m afraid I don’t quite follow your gist (= what you really mean).

⭕ Students are taught the skills of reading and listening for gist.

 The gist of her argument was that the law was unfair.

 I didn’t read the whole article, but I got the gist of it. [=I understood the main points of it]

Get the gist simply means getting or finding the main idea of the story.

Gist is a comprehension strategy that is used both during reading and after reading. It is one approach to summarizing a text. This strategy will improve reading comprehension as well as summary writing. When using gist, learners must delete insignificant information, select key ideas, and generalize in their own words, which are three major strategies necessary for comprehension and retention.

Must retain this:

⭕ When you use it: When you want to understand the main ideas of the text.

⭕ Why you use it: To understand the main ideas of what the author tells us.

⭕ How you use it: Think about the big ideas while you read. 

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