Difference Between Complement and Supplement


Main Difference

The main difference between complement and supplement is that complement is a thing to complete another thing, whereas supplement points out more information on something.

Complement vs. Supplement

By complement, we mean that something is going well with something. But by supplement, we mean something extra in something. Complement accomplishes a thing or makes it complete. The supplement is when something is combined or added to something to make it better.

Complement is the complete amount or numbers that accomplish something. In American English, a supplement is a part added to remove the faults or to lack. Complement refers to two sections that complete one another.


Comparison Chart

Generally, complement points out two things that are working well with each other.The supplement is an addition to something to make it good or perfect.
Noun, and verbNoun, verb
14th century, Middle English13th century, Latin
Support of one thing to another.Addition section for the description.

What is the complement?

Complement is a term of additional characteristics to make a thing or increases its value. In a sense, it is the complete acting energy of a container. We can also say that complement is a thing that coordinated with another thing to make it as a whole.

From a grammatical point of view, a complement is a group of words, which complete a structure in the predicate, and an object or a subject points out it. We can also find revealing and non-revealing complements in languages.


In non-theoretical writings, subject complement and object complement express the predicative adjectives and nominals. In this way, they are the best supporters of a subject and an object. Complement derived from the Latin word ‘complementum,’ means to complete.


  • Indicative complement: Indicative complements track complementizers.
  • Non-Indicative complement: Non-indicative complement survey the suitable complementizers.
  • Adjective complement: Adjective complement is the expression of adjusting an adjective. It traces an adjective in a statement and provides an extra description of it. An adjective complement consists of a noun clause or a prepositional phrase.
  • Subject complement: A subject complement is a noun, pronoun, or adjective. A subject complement is further divided into kinds of ‘predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives.
  • Object complement: An object complement is a noun, pronoun, or an adjective to trace a direct object to restate it.


  • This dress complements your personality.
  • The rice dish complement our super.
  • They bought a new set of chairs to complement the house furniture.
  • Such shoes will complement your dress.
  • The content of other sources complemented our sources effectively.
  • Aqsa added some sugar to complement the sweet taste in milk.
  • The yellow color complements white color effectively.
  • The complement set of books consists of three editions.

What is supplement?

The supplement is an extra description to get a thing completed. In supplement, one part exists already, and another one is added for the complete description. The supplement is the support for additional requirements.

A supplement may be an additional section of a book or a newspaper. A text supplement is the additional section of a book at the end, provided the extra description that is not included in the chapters of the book.

We can say that the supplement is an additional amount of money to get more facilities. The natural supplement may cooperate with medicines. The dietary supplement contains several products of minerals, amino acids, and herbs. In mathematics, a supplement is an angle added to provide an angle to make 180 degrees.


  • The hard work is a supplement for his exams.
  • He paid a supplement to get the berth for rest on the train.
  • He started a part-time job for the supplement of his income.
  • The medicine is combined in the supplement.
  • The notebook has six parts and three supplements.
  • Extra items are available at a supplement.
  • The book published a specific stay supplement in this year.
  • He eats vegetables as a supplement to his vegetarian diet.

Key Differences

  1. As a verb, complement means work along effectively, whereas supplement as a verb means to rise.
  2. Complement increases the quality of something; on the other hand, supplement is an extra function to something.
  3. Complement makes a word complete or best; conversely, the supplement supports this word to become good.
  4. Complement is a support to another thing for the completion; on the flip side, supplement is an addition to something.


Complement and supplement both have the same meaning but are not interchangeable. As both terms point out to add more information in something to make it complete or increase it.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson