Worry-free Writing: compliment and complement

Worry-free writing: compliment with an 'i' or an 'e'?
So if you want to be sure you’re using the right one, read on!

Compliment – the one with the i

Compliment with an i means to praise or admire, or the praise or admiration itself.
You might say, for example, ‘I complimented Chloe on her successful marketing campaign.’
That is, you were praising Chloe for doing a good job.
To remember this, think of what you say when you’re praising or admiring something: 
Look at that – not one, but three capital ‘I‘s!

Complement – the one with the e

Complement with an e means to complete.
For example, ‘Her red shoes complemented her dress beautifully.’
Her shoes weren’t telling her dress how fantastic it looked, they were completing her outfit.
To remember this, think of that cheesy line in Jerry Maguire:
Well, what do you know? Three capital ‘E‘s. It’s almost as if Tom Cruise knew that one day I’d need his help explaining this.
So in summary, if you like it, use the i.
And if something completes something else, use the e.

Over to you!

I hope you found that useful. If you did, let me know in the comments (you can even give me a compliment!). If you have any other word dilemmas, punctuation problems or spelling blind spots, let me know and I’ll try to explain it clearly for you.

One Response

  1. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you’re a great
    author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later on.
    I want to encourage one to continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Editor's Note

Monthly updates on writing and editing non-fiction, from my desk to yours.

Other articles for you – check them out!

How to find an editor: a transcript of The Editing Podcast episode

How to find an editor

Episode 10 of The Editing Podcast is all about finding the right editor for you. ​When you’re writing your book and you need an editor to

Read More »