I just read an essay in which a student wrote “I gave a complement to the author after the presentation.” This prickly pair needs clarification. Here’s my complimentary mini-lesson on these two complementary words:
Complementary vs. Complimentary
Entities that go well together are complementary.
The colors blue and gray complement each other.
Two people who complete each other are considered complementary.
Complimentary refers to items given without charge, usually offered in addition to a product or service purchased. Additionally, it means to praise someone.
The hotel provides a complimentary breakfast to patrons who stay overnight.
The PR Vice President was very complimentary to the qualified intern candidate.
GG hopes this complimentary lessons complements your vocabulary!