[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Compliment and complement are two words that can confuse even me.  The definition of compliment is an expression of praise, admiration or congratulations; whereas, complement means something that completes, makes up a whole or brings to perfection.  An easy way for me to remember which spelling to use in my sentence is to think about taking the initiative to praise someone.  If I am personally telling someone he or she did a great job or is looking nice, for example, then I use the word with the “i” in it (compliment).  For instance: Her execution of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony deserved a compliment.  Otherwise, something that makes a person or thing look good, completes or perfects it, uses the word complement; i.e., It was easy to see that the couple’s individual strengths complemented each other.  

How do you remember which word to use in your sentence?