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: Wiktionary.org).
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:
- I enclose a compliment/complement slip with your invoice.
- Anna was too shy to compliment/complement the teacher, even though she enjoyed the class.
- 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.
- Ali Hale has written a very good blog on these two words which can be found on Daily Writing Tips.
- Laura K Lawless from elearnenglishlanguage.com has written many sentences in relation to these words.
That’s all for today.
Answers to test: