Thursday, October 15, 2009

Complimentary vs Complementary

Happy Thursday people! One more day today before we hit the weekend.. hehe..

I've received an email from Pearson Brown talking about complimentary and complementary.

Complimentary and complementary are two different words

One comes from compliment - "saying nice things".

For example:

Aleya complimented him on his drama performance.
Many people paid him compliments.
She was very complimentary about his work.

One comes from complement - "goes well together".

This new system complements the existing system, it doesn't replace it.
The jewellery complemented her dress beautifully.
We make a great team. Our skills complement each other perfectly.

So which form is better to use to mean a *free* drink?

In American English, the answer is clear. It's a complimentary drink.

In British English, I've seen both forms used. Look, for example, at this Web page from a language school in Oxford.

According to Brown; I think I was wrong to write 'complementary drink'. The expression certainly started in the United States and I think that we should use the US form. I've checked up in the new Macmillan online dictionary and it says the correct term is 'complimentary drink'.

source: an excerpt from an email sent from Pearson Brown


Solehah said...

tq very much..good 1..

♥ Liana said...

uih, cikgu eh kakak..?
i pun ada friend yang cikgu and dia suruh panggil dia sensei.

happy blogging ye kak...!

p/s : link ni akan bawa akak ke my second blog sebab my queenlyana dot com tak boley comment sini as long as kakak tak set "anyone can comment" . Mana-mana pun sama ja, just want to let you know... kang terkonfius lak.."


christinejalleh said...

This quite a common confusing pair :)

In fact, it's one of the pairs I mentioned (with examples) in my article: "Accept or Except?"

Hope your students and you will find it useful!

christinejalleh said...

Oops! I'd actually used "compliment" vs "complement"...

Anyway, "complimentary" = something given free while "complementary" = to accompany something. :)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin