Two words that are frequently confused are ‘compliment’ and ‘complement.’ Do you know the difference? If not, check them in your dictionary. How can you remember which is which? Some people find a pneumonic that works for them. For example, ‘i like compliments.’
When you learn new vocab, make sure that you note collocations too. For this group of words some collocations are:
clarification of, clarify by
complement to, complementary approach
contemporary with, contemporary of
Check the meanings of the words if you don’t already know them. Check the meanings of the various forms as sometimes they are different. You can check them at Time4english by clicking the words (http://www.time4english.com/aamain/lounge/awl.asp).
Complete the sentences. Choose the correct word and then use the correct form of the word.
- Brian’s very creative and Samantha is very methodical. They have ______________ approaches that make them good business partners. (conform, complement)
- She’s always been a bit of a ______________ ; if you say ‘do this’ she’ll do something else instead. (conformist, clarify)
- The initial instructions were unclear, so she_______________ them for me. (commodity, clarify)
- I really like _______________ fashion, it seems to have taken the best from the 60s, 70s and 80s. (complement, contemporary)
- Coal is a major______________ in Australia. (contemporary, commodity)
Answers (in the wrong order)
5. commodity 3. clarified 2. non-conformist 1. complementary 4. contemporary