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Compliment vs. Complement: How to Use Complement vs. Compliment


The difference between compliment vs. complement. These words can be quite confusing. They are pronounced in almost the same way and the only obvious difference between them is a single letter. Even so, complement and compliment mean two completely different things.

Compliment vs. Complement

These words can be used as both nouns and verbs, but their meaning doesn’t really change. A compliment is “a polite expression of praise or admiration”, while a complement is “a thing that contributes extra features to something else in such a way as to improve or emphasize its quality”. Basically, you get a compliment when you’re pretty, but a complement makes you be even prettier.

When to Use Compliment

You use compliment when talking about praise. It can be used as a noun or as a verb.


  • I would like to get a compliment from time to time.
  • She loves it when I compliment her.

When to Use Complement

You use complement when talking about enhancing features. It can be used as a noun or as a verb.


  • That dress really does complement her eyes.
  • Salad is the perfect complement to fries.

Tips for the Differences between Compliment vs. Complement

To differentiate these two words, let’s look at their spelling. One is spelled with an i, the other with an e. Remembering the right word is quite simple, the i has a strict diet and is more fit, so it gets more compliments than the e.

Compliment vs. Complement Examples

  • I was embarrassed by their compliment.
  • The manager paid her a compliment on her work.
  • She gave a coy smile when he paid her a compliment.
  • must compliment you on your handling of a very difficult situation.
  • Don’t compliment him any more, or he’ll get a swollen head.
  • The groom was so nervous, he forgot to compliment the bridesmaids.
  • This wine would be a nice complement to grilled dishes.
  • Rice makes an excellent complement to a curry dish.
  • We’ve taken our full complement of trainees this year.
  • There will be a written examination to complement the practical test.
  • A simple string of pearls will complement any outfit.
  • She wanted to create a garden to complement her beautiful home.

When to Use Complement vs. Compliment | Image

Homophones: Difference between Complement vs. Compliment

Compliment vs. Complement

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