Difference Between Complement and Negation

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We feel comfortable seeing certain things, and we feel pleasure when we hear certain items. It is not because of the audio and video of the picture but the words used to describe a particular feeling.

We do know the fact that a group of positive words together can create a positive statement, and similarly, a group of negative words also create powerful/impactful negative information that, when read, gives a negative feel to the idea when reading. These words are called negation words.

Both the compliment and negation in a sentence depend on the context of the sentence, background information of the sentence and finally, the speaker’s or writer’s intent in conveying the message to a reader/listener.

Key Takeaways

  1. Complements are words or phrases that complete the meaning of a verb, adjective, or noun in a sentence, while negation is the process of making a statement or expression negative, typically through the use of words like “not,” “no,” or “never.”
  2. Complements provide essential information to complete a sentence’s meaning, whereas negation alters the meaning of a sentence by expressing the opposite or denying the original statement.
  3. The two concepts serve different purposes in language: complements complete the meaning of a sentence, while negation is used to express disagreement, denial, or contradiction.

Complement vs Negation

The difference between Complement and Negation is the usage of these words depending on the situation, like context, background information and intent. Complement always gives a positive outlook, whereas negation always gives a negative view of a sentence.

Complement vs Negation

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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonComplementNegation
OutlookThe outlook obtained is always positive irrespective of the words used.The outlook is always negative inclusive of the other words used.
Subject focusComplement always suggests something about the subject of the sentenceNegation always offers negative information about the subject of the sentence
OutcomeIt gives a clear and more common output/answerThe output is not clear and raises confusion again based on the statements
UsageA maximum of a single word or an expression is used in the sentence for the compliment concept.It can have multiple words that represent a negative outlook
RestrictionsThe main verb used always is the phrasal verb hereThe main verb need not be phrasal


What is Complement?

It is the term used for a word or the group of words required to complete a sentence or an expression.

If, in a sentence, there are no possible chances of removing particular words that we call phrases and clauses, then we usually quote it as a compliment. There is no chance we neglect the complements as they are required to clarify understanding.

We have two different complements such as subject complement and object complement.

Example 1: Mathematics is difficult

In the above example, Mathematics is the subject, and the word difficult will be called a Subject complement. The Subject complement explains or expresses the subject’s quality; in other words, it is the adjective, noun or pronoun that follows a linking verb.

Example 2: Practice makes mathematics easy

In the example above, mathematics is the object, and the word easy will be called object complement. The object complement explains or expresses the object’s quality; in other words, it is the adjective, noun or pronoun that follows an object directly.


What is Negation?

There are statements in any language that indicate a positive effect on the knowledge level of the understanding. Few words can change the effect from affirmation to an opposite denial. The process of doing this by adding a few words is called negation.

It is a process of converting an affirmative sentence into its opposite.

Example 1:

He is a nice guy – He is not a nice guy

Verbs in sentences are negated by placing the word not followed by an auxiliary or a modal verb. In simple terms, negation will be a grammatical change that contradicts or gives the opposite meaning of all, or a part of the sentence created.

There are multiple methods of Sentence negation. The first is constituent negation, and the second is exclamative negation.

Basic examples of negation:

Example 1: I will cook the dish.

Correct: I will not cook the dish

Example 2: I can go to Bangalore tonight.

Correct: I cannot go to Bangalore tonight.

Example 3: We are planning a party

Correct: We are not planning a party


Main Differences Between Complement and Negation

  1. The main difference between compliment and negation is the type of statements formed (positive or negative); Complement offers a positive message while the latter gives an opposing view. 
  2. The sentence’s output or outcome remains the same and positive in the case of a compliment, whereas the output changes in the case of negation. 
  3. Complement can be offered in a sentence using a single word, while a group of negative expressions is required for negation. 
  4. The main verb used in complement is always phrasal. However, it is not the same as the negation. 
  5. Complement is countable, but negation is not.
  1. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED146584.pdf
  2. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/82348897.pdf
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