Easily Confused Words: Peal vs. Peel

Peal and Peel are homophones and easily confused words.

The spell-check of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up among these three words. As long as it’s a word and it is spelled correctly, spell-check keeps on scanning the document.

Peal is a verb meaning the loud chime of a bell.

Peel is a verb meaning to strip or to shed an exterior layers. Clothes can be be peeled off after being in the pool. Fruit, like a banana, is peeled to remove its skin. Peel can also be a noun, meaning the skin or rind that was removed in peeling.

The following sentence uses both words correctly:

When Pauline heard the alarm clock’s peal, she knew it was time to get up, milk the goats, and peel basket after basket of apples.


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