Common mistake complement / compliment

Complement/Compliment: Common Mistake and Proper Usage

English can be a tricky language, especially when it comes to words that are spelled similarly but have completely different meanings. One common mistake that people make is confusing the words 'complement' and 'compliment.' While they may look and sound similar, they have distinct meanings and should be used correctly to avoid confusion.


The word 'complement' is typically used as a noun or a verb and refers to something that completes or enhances something else. It is used to describe a part or element that brings out the best in another. Let's have a look at a few examples:

  • The red shoes complemented her outfit perfectly.
  • The spicy flavors of the curry were the perfect complement to the mild sweetness of the rice.
  • This painting is a great complement to the overall aesthetics of the room.

In these examples, 'complement' is used to indicate that something is enhancing or completing something else. It is essential to use 'complement' when describing this kind of relationship.


The word 'compliment,' on the other hand, is also used as a noun or a verb but refers to expressing admiration, praise, or recognition to someone. It is used to communicate positive feedback or appreciation. Let's see a few examples:

  • I received a lovely compliment on my outfit today.
  • She complimented him on his exceptional performance in the play.
  • We should always take the time to compliment others on their achievements.

In these instances, 'compliment' is used to convey positive remarks or words of appreciation towards someone. It is crucial to use 'compliment' when expressing admiration or giving praise.

Both 'complement' and 'compliment' are valuable words with distinct meanings. Understanding their proper usage is essential to avoid confusion and communicate effectively.

Linguix Grammar Checker: An excellent tool to ensure proper grammar usage and avoid common mistakes like confusing 'complement' and 'compliment' is the Linguix grammar checker. It provides real-time suggestions and corrections, helping you improve your writing skills.

complement / compliment mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    She was complemented on her beautiful eyes.

    She was complimented on her beautiful eyes.

  • Incorrect:
    My sincere complements on your cooking.

    My sincere compliments on your cooking.

  • Incorrect:
    Please just take the complement.

    Please just take the compliment.

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