Peak, n. the top of anything
v. to reach the top
Peek, v. to glance quickly
n. a furtive glance
Pique, v. to excite
Peke, n. (informal for Pekingese, a type of dog)
I peeked at the news feed over his shoulder. Pictures of little animals on social media had peaked early today. Whoever posted the picture of the Peke on the peak of the mountain had won the internet, though my quick peek of the photo had piqued my interest.
Peace, n. a state of mutual harmony
Piece, n. a portion of something
In order to have peace after dinner, Helen made sure everyone’s piece of cake was the same size.
Proceed, v. to move forward
Precede, v. to go before
Let’s proceed with the arrangements for the service. The maid of honor and flower girl will precede the bride down the aisle.
polish, v. to make smooth and gloss
n. a substance used for such an action
Polish, adj. having to do with Poland
Amelia used a special silver polish to polish the Polish tea set.
NB. polish/Polish may be the only word in English which changes meaning and pronunciation based on capitalization – “polish” is pronounced [paw-lish] while “Polish“ is pronounced [poh-lish].
Pail, n. bucket
Pale, adj. lacking in color
Sally chose the pale pail instead of the brightly colored one.
Please, adv. (used to request politely)
v. to act for the satisfaction of
Pleas, pl. n. an appeal or entreaty
Please, there is no need to genuflect to please me. I will hear your pleas regardless of your supplication.
Past, adj. gone by in time
Passed, v. past tense of “to pass” – to go by, to toss
In the past we passed the ball, today we’re bouncing it.
Plane, n. a flat surface, also a type of flying machine
Plain, adj. clear or ordinary
The children placed their planes on the plane of plain paper on the desk.
Pore, v. to study or look at intently
n. an opening for absorption, perspiration, etc.
Pour, v. to issue forth (often in a stream)
Poor, adj. deficient or lacking in something
Steam poured out of the bathroom.
“Wanda, what are you doing in there?”
“Just clearing out my pores and getting ready, Ma.”
“That’s a poor excuse for using so much water, Sweetie. You have a peaches and cream complexion; you really don’t need to pore over your reflection so much.”
Paws, pl. n. the feet of an animal
v. present of “to paw” – to handle clumsily
Pause, n. a temporary stop
v. to make a brief stop
He paws at the handle, his large paws making it difficult to turn the doorknob. When his ears prick up, he pauses to listen for another sound. After a brief pause, he resumes his attempts to open the door.
Pier, n. a structure on posts extending into a body of water
Peer, n. a person who is equal to another
v. to look at to discern
She peered down the pier, hoping to catch sight of the fisherman and his peers again.
Pair, n. two identical or similar things
v. to match or join together as pairs
Pare, v. to cut off the outer layer, to reduce or remove by cutting
Pear, n. an edible
After pairing the fruits, I pared the pair of pears to make a crumble.