compliment or complement?
Here are two words that sound the same … have only one letter different … yet have completely different meanings! Use the wrong one at your financial peril …
“complimentary” means “free” – for example, “Buy a Gadget and get a complimentary Widget”.
“complement” means “goes well with” – for example, “This red wine is a perfect complement to the roast beef.”
How NOT to use the wrong word!
Consider these two versions of a sentence from a promotional brochure for a clinic:
“Our clinic offers complementary therapies”
“Our clinic offers complimentary therapies”
In the first example, it tells people that the clinic provides therapies such as reiki, acupuncture, and so on.
But in the second example, it tells people that the clinic offers treatments for free! That’s probably not what was intended.
Get more great grammar tips in The Grammar Cookbook