"Compliment" versus "Complement"

Here is another set of most commonly interchanged words. Both words have the same spelling except on their sixth (6th) letter of each - "i" and "e".

I never knew of  this before until I met the word "complement" in one of the English novels I am reading.  My secret to add-up my vocabulary is checking every single unfamiliar word I encounter - it is effective, why? A word with a meaning you have read about and used in a sentence is easily remembered and harder to forget THAN just by mere reading the meaning on a dictionary alone.

As Google defines each word (with my examples):


- (as a noun) a polite expression of faith or admiration.
- (as a verb) politely congratulate or praise for something.

as noun:

"The compliments you gave has inspired me to write more."

"Thanks for the compliments."

as verb:

"We must compliment every job well done by our staff."

She complimented the kindness Mr. Aquino bestowed him.


- (as a noun) a thing that completes or brings to perfection.
- (as a verb) add something in a way to enhance or improves it; make something  perfect.


as noun (names a person/place/things/animals/events/emotions:

The greeting segment is a complement to the public service show they have started.

The hat is a complement to her over-all casual look.

as verb (action word):

"You complement my whole being..." the wife told her husband.

One must complement beauty with a respectable personality.

Complement your attire with a printed scarf  to make it a stand-out.

I hope this article has helped, especially English learners in my very own  I LOVE English Community .  Have a great day everyone!

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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.