Oral and verbal
“Oral” means by mouth and should be used when referring to spoken language. It is more precise than verbal.
• Example: The incident was mentioned in an oral report to her supervisor.
“Verbal” means with words, either written or spoken.
• Example: Patrick O’Brian is a verbal virtuoso.
Complement and compliment
“Complement” means to add to or complete. It can also mean the quantity, number, or assortment required to make a thing complete.
• Example: The information on this website is meant to complement the advice from your physician.
• Example: I have the full complement of style guides and dictionaries.
A “compliment” is an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration. “Complimentary” means favorable or free.
• Example: Was Anna trying to compliment me or insult me?
• Example: The feedback on the article has been very complimentary.
• Example: The tickets were complimentary.
Cord and chord
A “cord” refers to a rope or a bond, an insulated electrical cable, or an anatomical structure.