Compliment vs Complement
Is there a difference between compliment and complement? Some people may wonder if they should say, “She paid me a compliment” or “She paid me a complement.” This confusion often leads to using these terms incorrectly, resulting in a completely different meaning. While they may look similar, with the only difference being the “i” and “e,” they are not synonymous. Compliment refers to praising or appreciating someone or something, while complement means to complete or supplement something. This article will provide a better understanding of these terms through examples and emphasize the difference in usage between the two.
- Compliment is an expression of praise and admiration, while complement means to complete or improve something.
- The adjective for compliment is complimentary, while the adjective for complement is complementary.
- Compliment is related to praise, whereas complement is related to enhancing something.
What does Compliment mean?
The Oxford English dictionary defines a compliment as an expression of praise and admiration. The adjective of this word is complimentary. In our daily lives, we often appreciate and praise our friends and family; this is complimenting. For example, when we say, “You look gorgeous today,” we are paying a compliment. In other words, we are appreciating someone. Here are some more examples:
Assume you listen to one of your friends singing a song very well; after the performance, you might compliment them by saying, “It was a beautiful performance” or “Your voice is amazing.” These are compliments.
Another example: Your neighbor buys a brand new car, and the first time you see it, you say, “She is a beauty.” Here, we are complimenting the neighbor on their new car.
What does Complement mean?
The Oxford English dictionary defines complement as “a thing that completes or improves something.” It conveys the meaning of enhancing or supplementing something. The adjective of this word is complementary. Let’s understand this through an example:
“Your shoes complement your dress.”
In this example, the speaker is saying that the shoes provide a sense of perfection or completion to the dress or enhance the dress’s beauty. While it may have an element of praise, it is different from complimenting someone or something. Here’s another example:
“The sauce really complements the dish.”
In this case, it indicates that the sauce enhances the dish and goes well with it. So, unlike the word compliment, complement denotes enhancing or supplementing.
What is the difference between Compliment and Complement?
- Compliment is an expression of praise and admiration.
- The adjective for compliment is complimentary.
- Complement is a thing that completes or improves something or goes well with something.
- The adjective for complement is complementary.
- The main difference between compliment and complement is that compliment is related to praise, while complement is related to enhancing something.