Easily Confused Words: Pier vs. Peer

Pier and peer are homophones, meaning they sound alike but are spelled differently, and mean different things. They are also easily confused words. The spell-check application in word-processing software doesn’t catch words that are spelled correctly even if another word should have been used in that context.

Pier is a noun meaning referring to an elevated structure built out over the ocean. It’s used as a lookout point for people on a shoreline; it also refers to the supporting pillars of such a structure. Many US beaches have piers that have been cultural hotspots: Coney Island, NY, Folly Beach, SC, and Santa Monica, CA, just to name three.

Peer is a noun meaning another person of your age group, school group, or fellow employee. It’s plural, peers, means many of the people in these groupings.

Peer can also be a verb, meaning to look, usually in a intrusive manner.

The following sentences use these words correctly:

Standing under the pier, Delilah peered into an abandoned book she found on the beach. It belonged to someone named Jen Schuster. This was also the name of one of her peers growing up. Could they be the same person?



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