Professional Style

Complement vs. Compliment

July 2015
Spot the Error

Stella’s earrings complimented her ensemble nicely.

I don’t know about you, but I find that hard to believe. Talking earrings? Really? I don’t think so. More than likely, Stella’s earrings complemented her ensemble.

  • Compliment (with an “i”) means to praise (thus the talking earrings).
  • Complement (with an “e”) means to complete, enhance, or supplement.

A mnemonic device to distinguish the two is the comment:

I like to get compliments.

Who likes to get compliments (spelled with an “i”)? I do.

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