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.