‘You are awesome.’ Am I paying you a compliment vs complement? That’s a common source of confusion among students. The confusion stems from the fact that these two words are pronounced in almost the same fashion. But there is a big difference between the two words.
Compliment simply means praise. If you compliment someone, you are praising that person. Obviously, in the first line, I paid a compliment to all you fantastic guys who are on LEAP.
Complement, on the other hand, indicates something that goes well with something or enhances its properties. Think complementary angles from your math lessons? In fact, the word has been around for ages. Let us look at a couple of examples:
Fruity wines complement spicy foods.
The couple complement each other very well.
If you are still confused, pay close to the spellings of the two words. Whenever you see the letter ‘I’ think about praise. In case of ‘e’ think about how the words enhance each other. Also, just as a side note, remember that the word ‘complimentary’ stands for free.
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