Imagine crafting a thoughtful message only to realize later that you used the wrong term.

slaps forehead - doh - gif

This happens quite often with the words "complement" and "compliment". Let's dive into some ways to recognize the difference between "complimented" vs "complimented" so you can be sure to use the correct one.

Compliment: Words of Warmth

Compliment, the one with the "i", means the nice things you say to someone. They're praise or words of admiration. Picture your friend walking up to you with a brand-new jacket that looks amazing on them. What do you want to say?

Two characters from Mean Girls. One says,

Those words are called "compliments". If you told your friends how awesome they looked, you complimented them!

Complement: Completing the Puzzle

"Complement," the one with the "e", is like a missing puzzle piece that makes it all perfect.

Matching puzzle pieces coming together. Photo by Vardan Papikyan on Unsplash

Think about peanut butter and jelly. Together, they just make each other taste better. They've complemented each other perfectly since the invention of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

peanut butter and jelly

How about Yin and Yang, the classic symbols of opposing forces? They work together to balance the universe.

A display showing the yin and yang symbols alternating with each other.

Or coffee and a good book? For many people, sipping a cup of coffee and reading a good book is a complementary pairing that increases relaxation and enjoyment.

Coffee and a book on a bed. Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Remembering the Difference Between Complimented vs Complemented

Here are some memory tricks to help your memory:


  • Spelled with an "i"

  • "Praise" has an "i"

Think: I was happy when she complimented my hairstyle. I love to get praise!

compliment checklist, you are beautiful, strong, smart, loveable, powerful, unique, perfect, amazing, and all of the above


  • Spelled with an "e"

  • "Complete" is similar to "complement"

Think: The two shapes on the wall complemented each other nicely. They completed the pattern.

An animation depicting two puzzle pieces kissing. The text reads,

There is NO difference in the way these words are pronounced. They are homophones:

  • Homo = two things that are the same or similar

  • Phones = sound/listen

Homophones = two words that sound the same.

Click the play button on the video below to hear and see the words pronounced.


Select the sentences where "complement" and "compliment" are used correctly:

Take Action

Now you have a better idea about the difference between "complimented" vs "complemented", two commonly mistaken words. So, how can you make sure you don't forget?

A scrabble board with the word


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