Compliment ~ Complement

This training aid will teach you how to decide when to use “compliment” with an “i” or “complement” with an “e.”

Rules and Examples

  1. Compliment means to say something nice about someone.
  2. Complement means something completes or works well with something else.

“I gave him a compliment.”

“His skills complement my skills because we each have different skills the other needs.”

“She is always fishing for compliments.”

“Our company’s capabilities complement the new acquisition’s capabilities.”

Memory Aid

“Compliment” has an “i” in it. You need an “I” to get a compliment, since only a person can receive a compliment. I don’t know about you, but I like compliments. So make sure you have an “i” to get your compliment.

“Complement” has an “e” in it. Easy fit! Fit with ease. Think of the “e” sound when you think of the word. It fits with “ease,” “easy,” and “please.” They all show something complements something else.

Compliment ~ Complement Quiz

Take this quiz to test what you have learned.


Writing Coaching by Senior Instructor Dr. Robert Hogan

Business Writing InstructorDr. Robert Hogan teaches the coaching, tutoring, and individualized business writing courses. Dr. Hogan has been training writers for 40 years in universities, colleges of business, consulting companies, and professional writing companies. He has been a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County College, and Illinois State University College of Business. He was manager of communications in a telephone billing company and owner of a company writing documents on contract for government agencies and corporations.

More about Dr. Hogan and his courses you may take…

Lie-lay-lying Worldwide

Corporate and Government Training

Corporate discounts are available. Send an email to the Business Writing Center for more information: Email…

Government agencies and companies may purchase courses at the end of the fiscal year and defer registration of individuals in the courses for up to 12 months. Request information…

Dr. Hogan delivers workshops at company sites in general business writing, writing email, business report writing, writing letters, and principles of usage (grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentences, and word usage). More…

Lie-lay-lying Worldwide

6,600 Clients Worldwide

The Business Writing Center has trained staff from a broad range of organizations:

Companies – 5,768
Nonprofit organizations – 495
Military/government – 234
Colleges/universities – 143

See a sample list of the most recent 1,000 companies and agencies.

Writing Training Awards

Awards and Recognition

The Business Writing Center has been evaluated and has received awards or recognition from a number of organizations and media:

  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Department of Defense
  • National Association of Legal Assistants
  • HR-Wire
  • Florida Department of Health
  • Investor’s Business Daily
  • TechRepublic

See the list of awards