What is the difference between 'compliment' and 'complement'?

It is easy to confuse compliment and complement because they are homophones (words that sound the same but are spelt differently).

As a noun, compliment (with an I) refers to a comment that expresses praise or approval:

✅ Everyone kept paying Usher compliments on his singing.

Compliment can also be used as a verb meaning 'to flatter' or 'to praise':

✅ Everyone complimented Usher on his singing.

Complement (with an E) is used to describe something that completes something else, and in doing so enhances it:

✅ Her design skills complement my business management skills and vice versa.

✅ A leather jacket would complement the outfit perfectly.

For tips on how to easily remember the difference, please click here.

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