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Bryan's Grammar Blog
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Browse Bryan's grammar blog and enjoy reading his thoughts on grammar as well as answers to grammar questions from our users.

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Question from Judith:

You give the incorrect answer to #15 on the module 6 pretest. It should be illusion. The person made indirect references (alluded) to possessions, which gave the impression (Illusion) that she had wealth. You can allude to something but you can't "give" an allusion.

Judith

Answer:

Question #15 on the Module Six Pre-test reads, "Her alluding to her possessions gave the (allusion) (illusion) of wealth." She is actively referencing, alluding, to her possessions through the use of symbolism to her wealth. A reference is made between herself and her checking account. Yes, an allusion can be "given" in the figurative sense. A wealthy woman's Chanel bag is an image that's "given off." An image can be "given off" and so can a smell, so that proves these supporting verbs can be interchangeable. We can even use various verbs for illusion, like, "An aura of illusion surrounded the mysterious magician," or "They spread their illusion of political disunion across the land." But those make sense with those specific subjects. Magicians can be full of illusion and illusion can be molded, spread, or surround someone. Politics can be full of illusion, too. But when a wealthy woman, in this sentence, is alluding to the rest of her wealth, there's no illusion mentioned in the sentence. If "John the Credit Card King" were to give off, spread, infect, or propagate the "illusion" that he were wealthy when really, he's bankrupt, "illusion" would be correct. But this lesson between allusion/illusion is meant to model that when symbols and references are made between subject and object, an allusion has taken place, versus when an incorrect symbol is referenced to create an illusion. Be careful when becoming used to the way something sounds. Hope this helps.

Bryan