English words of the day: ALLUDE & ELUDE

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Hi there! I’m back with another verb of the day – actually, today we’re going to learn TWO verbs because they sound very similar but they mean different things.

ALLUDE

The first one is allude. Two syllables with the stress on the second one – al-LUDE. If you allude to something, it means you refer to it indirectly when speaking or writing. You don’t say it specifically and directly, instead you mention it in a more indirect way.

An example, let’s say there’s a businesswoman who grew up in a very poor family, and now she’s very successful. She might say something like “The challenges I faced as a child helped make me the woman I am today.” – she doesn’t directly say that her family lacked money or had difficulty buying food; instead she simply alludes to her family’s problems by mentioning them indirectly.

Or maybe there’s an author talking about his latest book, and while he’s giving an interview, he alludes to other writers who have influenced him. He doesn’t say who they are specifically, he just refers to them indirectly; he alludes to those other writers.

Now allude spelled A-L-L-U-D-E is different from elude spelled E-L-U-D-E, although in fast spoken English they’re typically pronounced almost the same.

ELUDE

Elude starting with E means to avoid, escape, or stay away from. A criminal might elude the police by taking a getaway car; he managed to escape. Or maybe your boss is in a very bad mood today, so you try to elude him in the office, you try to stay away or escape his presence.

In addition to physically getting away, elude can also mean when you’re going after some goal or trying to do something, but you can’t achieve it. So maybe an athlete has competed in the Olympics three times but she’s never gotten a medal, you could say an Olympic medal has eluded her. She’s trying to get it, but she hasn’t captured or gotten it yet.

All right? Allude starting with ALL  means to refer to something indirectly, and elude starting with EL means to escape or stay away from. Those are our two verbs of the day. Thanks for watching!


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