Main Difference – Adjunct vs Complement
Adjuncts and complements are two main elements in a sentence. However, there is a major difference between these two elements. Complements are words or phrases that are used to complete the meaning of a given sentence. Adjuncts are parts of sentences that contain extra information; they are not necessary to complete the meaning of a sentence. The main difference between adjunct and complement is that adjunct is optional to a sentence whereas complements are a necessary part of a sentence.
This article looks at,
1. What is an Adjunct? – Definition, Grammar, Function and Examples
2. What is a Complement? – Definition, Grammar, Function and Examples
3. Difference Between Adjunct and Complement – Comparison of Grammar and Function
What is a Complement
Your sister is cute.
Slippery roads are dangerous.
You look happy.
An object complement modifies or refers to the direct object. It always follows the object of a sentence. An object complement is always a noun or an adjective.
You made him lazy.
They call my brother Fatty.
A verb complement is a noun or a noun phrase that occurs after the verb. Direct and indirect objects can also act as a verb complement. The meaning of the verb and the sentence will be incomplete without the complement.
He wiped his face.
He wanted a new car.
The complements in the above examples are underlined. If you try to remove the underline words and phrases from the above examples, you’ll notice that none of these sentences have any sense without their complements.
What is an Adjunct
Adjunct is an optional and structurally dispensable part of a sentence, clause or phrase. It is not necessary to the structure of the clause and removing it does not have a major effect on the rest of the sentence. Thus, an adjunct only adds extra information to a sentence. Adjunct always functions as an adverbial.
He laughed at her mistake.
I met him in the park.
Yesterday, she gave me a letter.
I’ll come after I have had my breakfast.
Diane will leave tomorrow.
She wanted a new car for her birthday.
The underlined sections in the above sentences can be defined as adjuncts. If we remove these sentences, the overall meaning of the sentences would still be complete.
Difference Between Adjunct and Complement
Adjunct is an optional and structurally dispensable part of a sentence, clause or phrase.
Complement is a word, phrase or clause that is necessary to complete the meaning of a given sentence.
Completion of a Sentence
Adjuncts are not necessary to complete the meaning of a sentence.
Complements complete the meaning of a sentence.
Adjuncts are structurally dispensable.
Complements are structurally indispensable.
Adjuncts are adverbials .
Complements can be nouns or adverbs.