Commonly Confused Words: Compliment vs. Complement

One of my bosses got these two words confused all the time. He started every presentation with a slide that reminded us that our company's mission was to compliment the work of our clients.

I'm pretty sure that's NOT what he meant. Unless, of course, our mission actually was to praise and admire our clients - in which case, they were definitely overpaying for our services.


I'm entreating you not to make the same mistake in your SAT or ACT essay! This is how I remember which is which:

I like compl-I-ments and I always want more of them. Hence compliment - the one that means to praise and admire - has an I.

On the other hand, compl-E-ment means to complete something and of course complement and complete both have lots of Es.

Hope this helps!

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