The difference between Compliment and Complement [Summary]

The words “compliment” and “complement” are easy to mix up because they both refer to expressing positivity and sound so similar.


Compliment (with an “i”):

When someone says “I like your necklace”, they are giving you a compliment. As a verb and a noun, compliment refers to a favorable statement about someone.



  • Sarah was pleased to receive a compliment on her pretty new summer dress.
  • Adam complimented Sam’s excellent marketing skills.


Complement: (with an “e”):

Can be used as a noun to describe something that completes or enhances another thing. It refers to this process as a verb or as a noun.



  • The painting’s color scheme complements the furniture’s color scheme nicely.
  • Mustard is the only thing my mum uses as a complement to mashed potato.

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