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By Judy Vorfeld


Which is more com­monly used: “com­pli­ment” or “com­ple­ment”? “Compliment” is more com­monly used. It means say­ing some­thing nice about someone.

Examples: Judy Vorfeld com­pli­mented Hal Alpiar on his lat­est book…Ruthann Clemens com­pli­mented Terence Kierans on his tech­ni­cal sup­port tips…My com­pli­ments to the chef.

“Complement,” much less com­mon than “com­pli­ment,” has a num­ber of mean­ings asso­ci­ated with match­ing, com­plet­ing, or per­fect­ing. If you’re not giv­ing some­one praise, the word is usu­ally “complement.”

Examples: My new yel­low socks com­ple­ment my orange shoes…His pur­ple hair com­ple­ments his green eyes…The Air Force base has a full com­ple­ment of pilots.

Thus, if you see a woman in an amaz­ing out­fit that com­ple­ments her skin tone, feel free to com­pli­ment her.


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