Complements and adjuncts are different. A complement is necessary in order to complete the meaning. An adjunct is not necessary, and adds extra information.

Compare He put the cake in the oven.

Not: He put the cake.

put must have a complement to say where something is put. Without the complement, the clause would not be complete.

We usually go away in the spring.

in the spring is an adjunct. It is not essential to complete the verb ‘go away’; it adds extra information.

Ok, "I cooked it raw", raw here is a complement that complete "it"

see we don't say ""I cooked it rawly""

How about, "Did I hear this correct?"? is correct a complement or an adjunct?

correct is an adjective & not an adverb

Can we say "Did I hear this correctly?" or Did I correctly hear this??

How about, "Am I reading this right?" is right a complement or an adjunct?

right are both an adjective & adverb.

Do we say "Am I reading this rightly?" or "Am I rightly reading this?"?

1 Answer 1


I guess the question comes down to whether there a difference between

I put the cake.

I am saying this.

We never use the verb put without a complement, usually locative.

He put it over there.

He put it in the oven.

He put things right.

But we can and do say "She said it" or "You heard me".

So, if our definition of complement is that a verb requires it in order to make sense, not that a verb can use it to adjust its sense, then "correctly" is not a complement but an adjunct in

She said it correctly.

You heard me correctly.

  • What about "Did I hear this correct?"" is "correct" a compliment?
    – Tom
    Jan 2, 2018 at 13:31

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