IloveIndia

Figures of Speech IloveIndia








The words compliment and complement are usually mistakenly interchanged. And if you are one of them who have these often confused then go through the article to have it all in place.

Compliment Vs Complement

Interchanging compliment and complement is a common mistake in the English language. The two words are homonyms, i.e. they are similar in spelling and pronunciation but have entirely different meanings and hence, the need to use them appropriately. It's surprising to see how many people get these words wrong. And for most, the use of the word is just gamble; they pick one based on their gut feeling. What makes matters worse is the fact that both 'complement' and 'compliment' can be used as nouns as well as verbs. The difference however is that, while compliment means to praise and flatter someone, complement is when something completes the other. The difference in meaning of these two words is hence quite stark and prominent. And not so surprisingly, most people do understand the difference in the two usages; it is only the spellings that get them. So, go through the explanations and examples highlighted below to help yourself get rid of your doubts. And the next time you need to use either of the words, it won't be a gamble as you'll exactly know which one to use and where.

Difference Between Complement and Compliment

Compliment

A compliment, as a dictionary would define it, is an admiration remark. The roots of the word compliment come from the Italian word 'complimento' and Spanish word 'cumplimiento' which further originate from the Latin word 'cumplir' which means to be courteous. A compliment means to praise and give someone the best wishes. For instance, we often use a 'compliments slip' with a gift to wish somebody. As a verb, 'compliment' means to praise someone or the act of praising while, as a noun, compliment is an appreciative remark or the praise itself. The examples below help bring out the difference of the word 'compliment' both as a noun and as a verb.

Compliment As A Noun
  • Paying compliments is a trait of a content individual.
  • He gave me a compliment about by height.
Compliment As A Verb
  • I wrote an email to compliment the service and quality of the goods.
  • Passers-by stopped to compliment him on his handiwork.
Other Forms
  • The word compliment can also be used in the adjective form as 'complimentary'. E.g. Mark was very complimentary about my dress.
  • Compliment also means to get something for free as a courtesy or favor. E.g. I got complimentary drinks at the party last night.
Complement
The word 'complement', which shares its roots with the word 'complete', means to go well with something in order to make it more attractive and presentable, perhaps even close to perfection. It can either be a person or a thing that works towards completing or complementing something. The roots of the word complement come from the Latin word 'complementum' which means completion. Again, the word complement can be used either as a noun or a verb. When used as a noun, it means something that completes and makes something else perfect, whereas as a verb, complement refers to the action of completing and making something perfect.

Complement As A Noun
  • Good feta cheese is a complement to Greek salad.
  • The French wine was a perfect complement to the gourmet meal.
Complement As A Verb
  • How exactly does that scarf complement your dress?
  • Janice was wearing a particularly flattering blue dress that complemented her complexion.
Other Forms
  • The word complement can also be used as an adjective i.e. complementary. E.g. I'm looking for a pair of socks complementary to my pair of shoes.
More On The Words
  • The word complement is also a common term in scientific and academic areas. As in math, one commonly comes across "Find out the complement of x" or even "complementary angles". Also, someone keen in art would have stumbled across complementary colors.
  • There is a common mnemonic used to remember the difference between 'complement' and 'compliment'. The 'e' in complement can be mapped to the word complete, as complement means to give something a certain level of completeness and/or wholeness. On the other hand, the 'i' in compliment means talking on oneself, as the praise and flattery you receive is all about you. This very simple way of remembering the difference between these two words has been around for a long time and has served the purpose of many a confused soul. Keep this logic near and you won't have to fear these homonyms ever again.
The examples and explanations used for clearing the cloud surrounding 'complement' and 'compliment' should have made things a lot more definite for you. Now that you've gone through this coverage, we hope that using these words in the right place and at the right time wouldn't be a big deal for you in future.



blt1Adjunction Examples
blt1Allegory Examples
blt1Alliteration Examples
blt1Allusion Examples
blt1Anadiplosis Examples
blt1Analogy Examples
blt1Anaphora Examples
blt1Anastrophe Examples
blt1Antecedent Examples
blt1Anticlimax Examples
blt1Antimetabole Examples
blt1Antithesis Examples
blt1Antonomasia Examples
blt1Apostrophes Examples
blt1Appositive Examples
blt1Assonance Examples
blt1Asyndeton Examples
blt1Chiasmus Examples
blt1Climax Examples
blt1Consonance Examples
blt1Double Negative Examples
blt1Enthymeme Examples
blt1Epistrophe Examples
blt1Epithet Examples
blt1Euphemism Examples
blt1False Analogy Examples
blt1Funny Metaphors Examples
blt1Hyperbole Examples
blt1Idiom Examples
blt1Imagery Examples
blt1Irony Examples
blt1Jargon Examples
blt1Examples Of Litotes
blt1Metaphor Examples
blt1Metonymy Examples
blt1Onomatopoeia Examples
blt1Oxymoron Examples
blt1Palindrome Examples
blt1Paralipsis Examples
blt1Parallelism Examples
blt1Parenthesis Examples
blt1Personification Examples
blt1Polysyndeton Examples
blt1Pun Examples
blt1Rhetorical Questions Examples
blt1Simile Examples
blt1Stereotypes Examples
blt1Symbolism Examples
blt1Synecdoche Examples
blt1Tautology Examples
blt1Understatement Examples
blt1Verbal Irony Examples
blt1Zeugma Examples
blt1Abstract Nouns Examples
blt1Commonly Misspelled Words
blt1Types Of Verbs
blt1Usage Of Semicolon
blt1Demonstrative Adjectives
blt1Comma Splice Examples
blt1Usage Of Colon
blt1Apostrophe Usage
blt1Helping Verbs
blt1List of Prepositions
blt1Parts Of Speech
blt1What Are Prepositions
blt1What Is A Noun
blt1Whom Vs Who
blt1Types Of Adjectives
blt1Types Of Sentences
blt1Types Of Tenses
blt1What Are Adjectives
blt1What Are Adverbs
blt1What Is A Predicate
blt1What Is A Pronoun
blt1Ensure Vs Insure
blt1Empathy Vs Sympathy
blt1Degrees of Comparison
blt1Dangling Modifiers
blt1Compliment Vs Complement
blt1Common Homophones List
blt1Common Grammatical Errors
blt1Colon Vs Semicolon
blt1Affect Vs Effect
blt1Linking Verbs
blt1Prepositional Phrases List
blt1Types of Clauses
blt1Use Of Articles In English
blt1When To Use A Comma
blt1When To Use A Hyphen
blt1Passive Voice & Active Voice
blt1Subject Verb Agreement



More from iloveindia.com