Complement is associated with enhancement.
There is often confusion over the words complement and compliment.
ComplimentA compliment (with an i) is an expression of praise.
to the chef for such a wonderful starter.
ComplementA complement (with an e) is something that enhances something else or goes well with it. (For example, cranberry sauce is a complement for turkey.) It is not common, but complement can also mean composition or make-up. (When used, it is often seen in the term full complement, meaning the whole number.)
The cashew nuts were an excellent complement for the soup.
(cashew nuts went well with the soup)
The drums were a perfect complement to their dancing style.
(drums enhanced their dancing style)
The Verbs To Compliment and To ComplementThe examples above all relate to nouns. However, both words exist as verbs too.
I would like
to compliment the pilot on such a smooth landing.
Select the correct version:
THE LETTERS CAN HELP YOU REMEMBER
The word compliment has an i in it – just like praise.
The word complement has an e in it – just like enhancement.
COMPLEMENT ALSO MEANS COMPOSITION OR MAKE-UP
Do you have a full complement of men for your mission?
Glossary of easily confused words
Glossary of common errors
Glossary of grammatical terms
What are nouns?
What are verbs?