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Word comparisons

Note 287 – Comparing complement and compliment

Complement and compliment can be used as either nouns or verbs. On Wikipedia, the word compliment is defined as “An expression of praise, congratulation or encouragement”. It is not to be confused with complement which means “to complete, to bring to perfection, to make whole” (source:

Notice how the following two sentences are different:

  • The compliment you gave me left me in a good mood for the day.
  • The colour of the towels complement the bathroom.

Now for a very quick test…choose the correct word in each of the following three sentences:

  1. I enclose a compliment/complement slip with your invoice.
  2. Anna was too shy to compliment/complement the teacher, even though she enjoyed the class.
  3. The final member of the project team was chosen because he complimented/complemented the rest.

The answers are at the end of the blog.

My thoughts: Not a complicated tip today, but important nevertheless. With these two words being so different it’s important to dfferentiate between them correctly in your writing.

Related links:

That’s all for today.

Until tomorrow…

Freelance Writer

Answers to test:

1. Compliment
2. Compliment
3. Complemented


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


2 thoughts on “Note 287 – Comparing complement and compliment

  1. Oh dear…..I am sooooo embarrassed lol

    I don’t think I ever use the word with an “e” in it 😦

    How shocking is that! Lol


    Posted by Vikki (The View Outside) | February 12, 2012, 8:27 am

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