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Odd Word Out Problems: Definition & Practice

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  • 0:04 Odd Word Out
  • 1:06 Strategies for Solving
  • 2:08 Practice Problems
  • 4:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Summer Stewart

Summer has taught creative writing and sciences at the college level. She holds an MFA in Creative writing and a B.A.S. in English and Nutrition

The Odd Word Out activity is a strategic assessment of an English speaker's knowledge and understanding of synonyms and basic English vocabulary. In this lesson, we will learn about the Odd Word Out activity, do some practice problems, and discuss strategies to solve these questions.

Odd Word Out

One of these easiest ways to determine if a student has a solid grip on the English language is to use the Odd Word Out activity. Odd Word Out assesses both a student's ability to recognize synonyms and like words and a student's logic by testing deductive reasoning skills. In this lesson, we will learn about Odd Word Out, do some practice problems, and go over strategies to solve the problems.

Oftentimes, a student is presented with a list of four or five words and is asked to identify which word does not fit with the rest of the words. Different types of lists are presented to the student. The list could be comprised of words that have similar meanings, have similar functions, have similar qualities, or are the same part of speech. Some Odd Word Out problems may be as simple as determining which word doesn't rhyme with the other words (which surprisingly, can be tricky if you aren't prepared).

Many of these problems can be very easy, but sometimes a difficult problem will arise, so it's important to practice Odd Word Out problems prior to taking an English language assessment.

Strategies for Solving

The best way to figure out the answer to Odd Word Out problems is to first determine which three words have similarities. Oftentimes, this immediately helps you solve the Odd Word Out problem.

If all of the words have similarities (for example, they all begin with the letter 'f'), then you need to go at the problem in a different way. Solve these problems by evaluating the differences between each word. As you assess the words, you will discover that three of the four words bear similarities, while one word stands out from the rest of the words.

You can also ask yourself these questions when solving Odd Word Out problems:

  • Do these words share a similar definition?
  • Do these words belong to a similar vocabulary group (example: fruits, vehicles, plants, etc...)?
  • Do these words rhyme?
  • Do these words all begin with the same letter?
  • Do these words represent a specific part of speech?

Asking these sorts of questions will help you determine what type of list the words are, which will ultimately help you isolate the word that doesn't fit into the grouping.

Practice Problems

Now that we know how Odd Word Out works, let's do some practice problems. Remember, each problem will present you with four words, and you must select which word doesn't fit with the rest of the words.

Problem 1: select the word that doesn't belong

  • A. Car
  • B. Truck
  • C. Motorcycle
  • D. Boat

A: 'Boat' is the odd word out because it is the only vehicle that requires water to operate. All of the other words are vehicles that are used on land.

Problem 2:

  • A. Sun
  • B. Moon
  • C. Stars
  • D. Ship

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