Difference Between Compliment and Complement


Primary Difference

Is there a contrast among compliment and complement? She paid me a compliment or would it be a good idea for it to be a complement? This can be somewhat confounding. This is the reason individuals regularly tend to utilize the terms complement and compliment in the wrong places, displaying a completely diverse importance. All things considered, one may say when taking a gander at the words the main distinction is between the “i” and ‘e’. Be that as it may, these two are not synonymous. The implications of these two words are entirely diverse. A compliment is to adulate or value somebody or something, while complement is to finish or supplement something. This highlights the words can’t be utilized reciprocally as they convey two implications. This article endeavors to give a superior comprehension of the terms through illustrations while underscoring the distinction in utilization between the two terms. Both words sound the same when maintained, however their implications are altogether different. Compliment intends to give acclaim, express adoration or giving congrats. Complement, then again, implies finishing something or to make something great. A decent approach to never forget the distinction is to recollect that the word with the “e” implies complete. Truth be told, the word complete is totally spelled inside complement. A compliment, with an ‘I’, is a kind or complimenting comment. On the off chance that a companion says he prefers your new shoes, he’s giving you a compliment. He’s complimenting you. A complement, with an e, is a full team or a set, and in the situation if something complements something else, which means that they go well together. You may discuss a photo edge that complements a snap or the group complement expected to work a boat.

Comparison Chart

A statement of recognition and adoration.Thing that finishes or enhances something.
Literal Meaning
Shows the meaning of praise and admiration.Is a thing that completes or improves something.
Has the adjective of complimentary.The adjective of the complement is complementary.
She paid her manager a pleasant compliment on how well her new haircut complemented her composition.The hues in the pads complemented the stripes in the couch exceptionally well.

Definition of Compliment

As indicated by the Oxford English word reference, a compliment is a statement of recognition and adoration. The descriptor of the compliment word is complimentary. In everyday life, we have a tendency to acknowledge and commend our loved ones, this is complimenting. For instance, when we say ‘you look dazzling today,’ this is paying a compliment. As such, it is welcoming somebody. Give us a chance to take a gander at some more illustrations. Accept you hear one out of your companions singing a tune extremely well, once the execution is over you for the most part compliment the individual by saying ‘It was a lovely execution’, ‘your voice is astonishing’. These are all compliments. Give us a chance to take another case. Your neighbor purchases a fresh out of the box new auto and the first occasion when you see it you say ‘she is a marvel.’ Here, at the end of the day, we are complimenting the neighbor for his new auto. Compliment is utilized when you are meaning to offer commendation. For instance, you may compliment somebody on another haircut or on an outfit that is especially complimenting. In its plural structure it can mean you are putting forth various articulations of applause, or it can mean all the best. Compliment capacities as both a thing and a verb.


Inaccurate: She paid the supervisor a ‘complement’ for the reason that how well her hair highlights complement her composition. (The main complement is erroneous on the grounds that “the supervisor” does not finish no matter what, which is suggested by spelling the word with an “e.”

Right: She paid her manager a pleasant compliment on how well her new haircut complemented her composition. (Compliment is showing a thing in this sentence).

Definition of Complement

The Oxford English word reference characterizes complement as a ‘thing that finishes or enhances something’. It draws out the significance of improving or else supplementing something. The descriptive word of this word is complementary. Give us a chance to attempt to understand this through a case too.

  • Your shoes complement your dress.

In this case, the speaker tries to say that the shoes give a feeling of flawlessness or a feeling of fruition to the dress. Or disaster will be imminent, it upgrades the magnificence of the dress. As should be obvious, it is not the same as complimenting somebody or something. It additionally has an atmosphere of applause, however in an alternate sense. Give us a chance to take another case.

  • The sauce truly complements the dish.

For this situation, it means that the sauce improves the dish furthermore that it runs well with it. So dissimilar to the word compliment, complement indicates upgrading or supplementing. Complement is utilized when what you are attempting to pass on that something is basically made complete with something else. For instance, on the off chance that you were portraying hues that look great together or a relationship including two individuals who appear to be very much coordinated, complement is the right decision. Complement capacities as both a thing and a verb.

Mistaken: The striped toss cushions complimented the couch hues pleasantly. (This suggests the cushions offered commendation to the couch, which is incomprehensible).

Right: The hues in the pads complemented the stripes in the couch exceptionally well. (Complement is a verb in this sentence).

The word complement originates from the same root as complete. It has nothing to do with being affable, and comes specifically from the Middle English, from the Latin word famous with the name of complementum.

  • We had the full complement of pots and dish.
  • Our store does not have enough representatives to work the required complement of hours.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. The expression of the Compliment shows the meaning of praise and admiration. On the other side, Complement is a thing that completes or improves something.
  2. The compliment has the adjective of complimentary. In contrast, the adjective of the complement is complementary.


Compliment and Complement are two works which have been used in the same context for a long time and people who are not language freaks do not know when to use the terms and get them confused. This space, therefore, has provided a clear understanding of the two words and explained the differences between them so that they can be used properly.

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