compliment X praise

CORALINNA

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brasil
At the office:

the boss - Well done! Keep up the good work and soon you will be promoted!
employee - Thank you Sir! I take it as a compliment.

Is it possible to say "praise" instead of "compliment"?
 
  • Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Yes, praise is okay but the employee is not likely going to say that the boss is praising him. Actually, it would sound fine if you matched praise and compliment. Example: "Thank you for the praise Sir. I take it as a compliment."
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    A compliment would be one level lower than praise if you can think of it that way. To receive a compliment from a boss would not seem that you have become the boss's pet. To receive praise from the boss is fine to the employee receiving it. However, if more is made of it, the other employees might start thinking that you have special status.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "I'll take that as a compliment" is a common phrase. It is often used when the comment you are responding to is unclear in its intent but you are choosing to interpret it as a positive comment, i.e. it's not obviously a compliment or it's not a compliment at all.
    "I'll take that as praise." (notice, it's not "a praise") is not a common phrase.

    In your example, the positive intent is very obvious so it seems odd to mention that you are choosing how to take it. :)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    In your example, the positive intent is very obvious so it seems odd to mention that you are choosing how to take it. :)
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. "I'll take that as a compliment" is often a response to a comment that could be taken as criticism.

    A: (In frustration): "You are the most miserly treasurer this homeowner's association has ever had."
    B: "Thank you! I'll take that as a compliment. Spending was out of control before I took over the position."
     
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