ôô

"Compliment" Versus "Complement"

Do you get confused when trying to spell compliment (or is it complement)? Here's a memory trick to help you remember the difference.

By
Mignon Fogarty,
January 25, 2015

;

Compliment Complement

It can be difficult to remember the two spellings and meanings of the words we pronounce as "compliment." They’re homophones—one is spelled with an i and the other is spelled with an e, and even though they sound the same, they mean different things.

Compliment

A compliment, with an i, is a kind or flattering remark. If a friend says he likes your new shoes, he’s giving you a compliment. He’s complimenting you.

Complement

A complement, with an e, is a full crew or a set, and when something complements something else, it means they go well together. You might talk about a picture frame that complements a photo or the crew complement needed to operate a ship.

A Trick to Remember the Difference

To remember the difference between the spellings of these words, be a nice person and tell yourself

I like to give compliments.

Put the emphasis on the I when you say or think it. The I can remind you that the type of flattering compliment is spelled with an i.;

[Note: This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared January 29, 2012.]

;

The Grammar DevotionalGet more tips like this in;The Grammar Devotional:

Print:;Amazon,;Barnes & Noble,;Powell’s

E-book:;Amazon Kindle,;Barnes & Noble Nook,;Apple iBook

;

;

;

Related Tips

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest