Monday, December 6, 2010

Compliment vs Complement

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Compliment and complement often cause confusion in both pronunciation and usage.

Words with similar (but not identical) sounds but with different meanings are called paronyms.

complement > noun – something that completes
complement > verb – to complete

Ex. A cherry on top complements a tasty chocolate sundae.

compliment > noun – an expression of praise, congratulations, or encouragement
compliment > verb – to express a favorable opinion

Ex. The mayor complimented his staff for his successful campaign.

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