(T. Vijaya, Trivandrum)
First, let’s deal with the pronunciation of the two words. The ‘a’ in ‘allude’ is like the ‘a’ in ‘china’, and the following syllable rhymes with ‘rude’, ‘crude’, and ‘Jude’. The word is pronounced ‘a-luude’. The ‘e’ in ‘elude’ is like the ‘i’ in ‘it’ and ‘bit’, and the following syllable sounds like the ‘lude’ in ‘allude’. The word is pronounced ‘i-luude’. In both cases, the stress is on the second syllable.
When you ‘allude’ to someone or something, you refer to the person or thing in a rather indirect way. The word is mostly used in formal contexts.
*In his presentation, the speaker alluded to several problems that might result.
When you ‘elude’ someone, you are clever enough to avoid them or escape from them.
*The fugitive succeeded in eluding the police for several weeks.
The word can be used with things as well. When something ‘eludes’ you, you fail to understand it or remember it.
I met her at last year’s conference. Her name, however, eludes me.S. UPENDRAN