Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Mehrgan's Avatar
    Mehrgan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,593
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question To supplement, or complement?

    Hi there,

    Could anyone please tell me the difference?


    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,292
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: To supplement, or complement?

    When you supplement something, you add something extra. You may supplement your regular income by doing freelance work.

    When you complement something (and it's so often mis-spelled as compliment that I sometimes wonder if most people realize they are different words), you have things that work well together. A dress may complement my eyes. You choose furnishings so they complement each other.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    Mehrgan's Avatar
    Mehrgan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,593
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: To supplement, or complement?

    Many thanks to you dear Barb_D...

  4. #4
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: To supplement, or complement?

    ----- I am not an ESL teacher -----

    Although Barb_D gave a nice explanation on the difference of these words I think there are many situations in which these words are used as synonymies. That is why I prefer math to language.

    In math, complement, supplement and (replement?) are the values which should be added to an angle in order to make it 90, 180 and 360 respectively.

    I am not sure of the word "replement", in Portuguese we say:
    "complemento", "suplemento" and "replemento". But I couldn't find an English word for "replemento", which word would one use for it?

  5. #5
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,130
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: To supplement, or complement?

    Two parts complement each other to make something complete or wholesome.
    eg. the two partners of the company have different skills which complement each other.

    In Maths, you also say that 30 degrees and 60 degrees are compementary.

    To supplement is just to 'add on' eg. he works part-time in addition to his full-time job to supplement his income.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by tedtmc; 13-May-2010 at 01:16.

  6. #6
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: To supplement, or complement?

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post

    In Maths, you also say that 30 degrees and 60 degrees are complementary.
    And you also say that 30 degrees and 150 degrees are supplementary.

    See for instance these two wikipedia short articles (good to practice one's technical English):
    Complementary angles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Supplementary angles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Similar Threads

  1. Analysis of Objective Complement
    By kl004535 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21-Dec-2009, 06:21
  2. usage of 'complement'
    By Spetsnaz26 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 23-Nov-2009, 03:37
  3. A complement or an adjunct test
    By reginaregina in forum Linguistics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Mar-2008, 16:24

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •