Grammar Wednesday

You, know; the one on WEDNESDAY.

Seriously, You Guys; I don’t know what was wrong with me yesterday.  I’m back on track now, though; I know what day it is today.  Sorry ’bout that.

Okay, here’s a question from Kizz, who says:

I keep forgetting to ask for a review of complimenting vs. complementing. I’ve been seeing them used in ALL the wrong ways by people who should know better and in all the right ways by people who surprise me.

Compliment, with an i, is a noun meaning an expression of praise or admiration.  It’s also a verb which means to offer up such a comment:

I often receive compliments on how polite my children are, which leads me to wonder how other people’s kids behave.

She received compliments all night on her gorgeous earrings.

When you see her, don’t forget to compliment her for earning highest honors in the class.

Complement, with an e, is most often used as a noun which means something that completes or accentuates something else (there are a bunch of other meanings, too, but let’s not complicate things too much; it’s still early as I write this).  It’s also, as above, a verb meaning to complete or accentuate:

The wine was an excellent complement to the meal.

That scarf really complements your sweater, and it highlights the green in your eyes. (which, coincidentally, is a nice compliment, too!)

I actually DO have a clever way of remembering this one: the “e” in complement is reminiscent of the “e” in complete; if you’ve got an “i,”, it’s the “saying something nice” compliment – the “e” is the “finishing or accentuating” complement.
Get it?

Happy Wednesday (for real this time), Everyone!



Filed under Grammar

4 responses to “Grammar Wednesday

  1. I love these posts — even if they come on Tuesday. Is there any way you could put a link on here that will access all the Grammar Wednesday posts? I’d love to be able to just scroll down the list of topics.

    I have no idea how to do coding or any of that stuff so I’m not sure if this is a tremendous effort or even something you are interested in doing.

  2. I fear I have made this mistake. Yikes!

  3. I had no idea there was even a difference. Learn something new every day!

  4. Bo

    I was going to share MY clever way of remembering it, because I was sure it was better than yours. But mine is yours. 🙂

    This one gets blown all the time. I see “compliment” when I should see “complement” frequently, but I can’t remember a single case of vice versa.

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