Peek, pique and peak are a set of three homophones. They are pronounced the same, but are all spelled differently and have different meanings. The similarity in sound produces lots of problems for people. But these three words have different meanings and uses.
If we learn and practice these meanings and uses, we should be able to know how to use peek, pique and peak correctly.
Peek is when you look at something very quickly. Often, you peek when you don't want someone to know you're looking. You peek when you're trying to be secretive, or keep something a secret.
Collocations are commonly spoken phrases in English that occur naturally in speech. Becoming familiar with collocations will allow you to speak naturally with others and provide smooth dialogue in conversations.
Pique is used as a verb.
Pique can mean to make someone interested or curious in something.
Pique also refers to feeling irritated or angry.
When peak is a noun, it means the top of a mountain.
When peak is a noun, it means the act of reaching a highest point. The point can be a physical point, like a mountain. It can also be a point in time. Or, it can refer to a level of anything that can change, such as support or a point in your career, etc.
Peak as an adjective, means greatest, highest or the maximum. It is used to describe the point of something as being at its highest.
Try to associate the word peak with a mountain peak by visualizing the a as a capital A that looks like a mountain! If you can remember that trick, you will always know that peak has to do with high points.
Here's another trick for the word peek. Think about the two e's in peek as two eyes that are looking at something!
And here's a little fun fact about the word pique. It's from the French word that means "prick." Sometimes it helps us remember words if we learn facts or stories about them.
If you can remember those three tricks, you should have no problem knowing when to use each of those words correctly.
Sarah is a mischievous little girl. When her mischievousness is at its peak, Sarah often gets herself into trouble. Sarah's parents are often piqued with Sarah's behavior. When her curiosity peaks, she just can't seem to behave herself.
Sarah's birthday is tomorrow and she knows that her parents have hidden her presents from her so she can't peek at anything. But she catches a peek at a box in her mom's car. Her curiosity is piqued! She can't control herself when this happens.
Carefully and quietly, Sarah sneaks into the basement. She sees boxes and bags peeking out from underneath the jackets in the closet. Her excitement is at its peak! She runs towards the presents, but she slips and falls. She tugs on one of the jackets and all of them come down on top of her! Her crash makes a lot of noise.
Upstairs, Sarah's parents hear the crash and their curiosity is piqued. They walk downstairs to find Sarah peeking out from underneath the jackets and birthday presents. Though they are piqued, the sight is very funny. They laugh at Sarah as she tries her best to not peek at the presents now laying around her.
Sarah's parents know that she has learned her lesson. Bad things happen when you peek at things you're not supposed to!
Fill in the blanks with the appropriate word. Each question is worth ten points.
1. My friends and I love hiking because nature is the most beautiful from a mountain ____________ (peek / pique / peak).
2. The ____________ (peek / pique / peak) in sales means that we are in high demand.
3. I snuck a ____________ (peek / pique / peak) behind the curtain while they were performing.
4. My mother yelled at my brother when he broke a glass because she was ____________ (peeked / piqued / peaked).
5. There are many ____________ (peeks / piques / peaks) we will have to climb in life.
6. We were ____________ (peeking / piqueing / peaking) at our Christmas presents when our grandparents walked in.
7. There's no way to tell if the kids ____________ (peeked / piqued / peaked) at the television yet.
8. Stanley saw the elephant and his curiosity was ____________ (peeked / piqued / peaked).
9. Jennifer was known to be the best salesperson during ____________ (peek / pique / peak) hours.
10. There was no way to know whether sales would ____________ (peek / pique / peak) or not.
1. peak | 2. peak | 3. peek | 4. piqued | 5. peaks | 6. peeking | 7. peeked | 8. piqued | 9. peak | 10. peak