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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gamel

Edit This Grammar Lesson: Compliment vs. Complement (Revisited)

Welcome to another Edit This® grammar lesson. In today's blog post, we will discuss Compliment vs. Complement and the differences between the two. I wrote a blog post about this five years ago but am revisiting the topic since I've seen a lot of confusion lately.

Compliment and Complement are examples of homophones – words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings – and they trip more people up than you think.

So, let's dive right in, shall we?

Compliment with an "i" means a polite expression of praise, admiration, or respect.

* Thank you for the compliment.

* I complimented the waitress for her customer service.

* I'll take that as a compliment.

Complement with an "e" means to complete, add to something in a way that enhances or improves it, or to complete something lacking.

* Those two colors complement each other.

* That scarf complements her outfit.

* Our full complement of staff can serve all your needs.

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It's fun to tease friends on Facebook for grammar mistakes or point out errors in other written copy. But any spelling or grammar error in business writing – brochures, website copy, blog posts, press releases, newsletters, etc. – wreak havoc on your company's image. Studies show that when choosing between two companies, customers prefer the one with clear and error-free written communication.

We hope you enjoyed today's blog on Compliment vs. Complement. If you're interested in having Edit This handle your company's content writing and editing needs, give us a call today! We can write copy from scratch or spruce up what you've already written. When it comes to grammar, everyone could use an extra set of eyes.

STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX, and the author of Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.

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