Little Book of Confusables

Complement vs compliment: spelling tricks to help you decide

COMPLEMENT or COMPLIMENT: top spelling tips to help you remember the difference.

COMPLEMENT or COMPLIMENT – they sound the same but their meanings are very different.

So, what do these words mean – and how do you decide which spelling you need? It’s easy.

These simple spelling tips will help you decide whether you need the word COMPLEMENT or COMPLIMENT.

Complement

COMPLEMENT means to complete or match with something.

For example:

“This wine complements the dish.”

Remember the e of complete.

Compliment

Spelled with an i, a COMPLIMENT is a flattering remark or praise.

For example:

“You have lovely eyes” – think eye/i.

Complementary vs complimentary

When it comes to COMPLEMENTARY and COMPLIMENTARY, these meanings follow suit:

If something is complementary it completes the set, or matches…

“The room was furnished using complementary colours that matched the decor.”

…while a complimentary remark is a flattering statement.

“He was complimentary about my dancing.”

Note that the spelling complimentary has a second meaning. It also means free, like this:

“Help yourself to a complimentary drink”

I hope these tips help you to remember the difference between COMPLEMENT and COMPLIMENT.

COMPLEMENT or COMPLIMENT: top spelling tips to help you remember the difference.

COMPLEMENT or COMPLIMENT: top spelling tips to help you remember the difference.

Coming soon: The Little Book of Confusables

Wouldn’t you love a handy guide to those tricksy spellings that trip you up and make you look bad? Words like PRACTICE and PRACTISE, AFFECT and EFFECT, or IMPLY and INFER.

The Little Book of Confusables shares simple, memorable spelling tips and examples for more than 500 of the words you find most confusing. Supercharge your vocabulary and avoid embarrassing mistakes! Sign up to my monthly newsletter for updates.