Ask Difference

Supplemental vs. Supplementary — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 6, 2023
Supplemental is something provided to complete or enhance something when it is not enough; supplementary refers to additional material provided to support or extend a base element.
Supplemental vs. Supplementary — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Supplemental and Supplementary

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Key Differences

Supplemental often conveys the notion of provision to fill a deficiency or a gap. When something is supplemental, it is added to something else to make it complete or sufficient. For example, a supplemental insurance policy provides additional coverage beyond the basic policy.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023
Supplementary typically refers to an extra or additional amount or detail that is added to something else to improve it or to provide more comprehensive information. Supplementary materials in a book, such as an appendix or notes, are added to enhance the reader’s understanding but are not necessary for the main content.
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Nov 06, 2023
Both terms imply the addition of something extra. However, supplemental often suggests a necessity to complete something essential, whereas supplementary often adds to something that is already complete and able to stand alone.
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Nov 06, 2023
Supplemental material might be considered necessary or essential for certain needs, like a supplemental income being crucial for meeting living expenses. Supplementary material, on the other hand, is often optional, enhancing understanding but not critical, such as supplementary readings for a course.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023
In summary, while both supplemental and supplementary involve adding to something else, the connotations can differ slightly with supplemental implying a need or requirement, and supplementary implying an enhancement or bonus.
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Nov 06, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Implication

Indicates a necessity to complete something.
Suggests an addition for enhancement.
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Necessity

Often essential or required for completeness.
Usually not essential, more of an add-on.
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Use in sentences

Used to describe things that fill a deficiency.
Used for items that provide extra support.
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Connotation

Essential to meet a requirement or need.
Extra material that enriches understanding.
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Common contexts

Insurance, income, funding.
Education, literature, information.
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Nov 06, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Supplemental

Additional to the basic or principal amount.
He receives a supplemental income from freelance work.
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Supplementary

Providing additional information or detail.
She provided a supplementary report with the project.
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Supplemental

Added to supply a deficiency.
She took supplemental vitamins for her health.
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Supplementary

Acting as a complement to the main material.
The seminar offers supplementary workshops.
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Supplemental

Serving as a supplement to improve or extend.
The course has a supplemental tutorial series.
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Supplementary

Serving as an addition to something.
The textbook came with supplementary online resources.
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Supplemental

Intended to complete or enhance something.
A supplemental volume was published to update the encyclopedia.
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Supplementary

Enhancing or extending the original.
There are supplementary exercises at the end of each chapter.
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Supplemental

Auxiliary or additional for completeness.
The supplemental staff was hired during peak season.
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Supplementary

Completing or enhancing something
The development of databases supplementary to existing ones
The programme offers supplementary information about the news
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Jun 13, 2018

Supplemental

Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.
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Supplementary

A supplementary person or thing.
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Supplemental

Provided in addition to what is already present or available to complete or enhance it
Many premature infants need supplemental oxygen soon after birth
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Supplementary

Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.
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Jun 13, 2018

Supplemental

A section added to a book or document to give further information or to correct errors.
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Supplementary

A section added to a book or document to give further information or to correct errors.
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Supplemental

A separate section devoted to a special subject inserted into a periodical, such as a newspaper.
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Supplementary

A separate section devoted to a special subject inserted into a periodical, such as a newspaper.
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Supplemental

See dietary supplement.
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Supplementary

See dietary supplement.
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Supplemental

See supplementary angle.
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Supplementary

See supplementary angle.
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Supplemental

To provide or form a supplement to.
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Supplementary

To provide or form a supplement to.
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Supplemental

Acting to supplement.
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Supplementary

Additional; added to supply what is wanted.
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Supplemental

Appending.
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Supplementary

Something additional; an extra.
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Supplemental

Lacking a regular schedule (as in a supplemental airline).
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Supplementary

Added to complete or make up a deficiency;
Produced supplementary volumes
Additional reading
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Supplemental

Something that supplements or adds to.
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Supplementary

Functioning in a subsidiary or supporting capacity;
The main library and its auxiliary branches
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Supplemental

A requisition or article of legislation that provides additional funding for a program.
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Supplementary

Not necessary, but purposefully added for completeness.
Supplementary readings are recommended for a deeper understanding.
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Nov 06, 2023

Supplemental

Added to supply what is wanted; additional; being, or serving as, a supplement; as, a supplemental law; a supplementary sheet or volume.
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Jun 13, 2018

Supplemental

Functioning in a subsidiary or supporting capacity;
The main library and its auxiliary branches
Tayyaba Rehman
Jun 13, 2018

Supplemental

Added to complete or make up a deficiency;
Produced supplementary volumes
Additional reading
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Common Curiosities

What does supplemental mean in terms of insurance?

It refers to extra insurance coverage beyond the standard policy.
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How do supplementary textbooks function?

They provide additional information and support to the primary textbook.
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Are supplemental materials usually included in a basic package?

No, they are typically provided separately and are additional.
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In what context would something be supplemental?

When it’s essential to fill a gap or complete something.
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Can supplementary materials be important?

Yes, they can be important for enhancing understanding or providing more detail.
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Is a supplemental charge common in services?

Yes, it’s an additional fee for extra services.
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Is a supplemental income necessary?

It can be necessary for individuals needing more than their main income.
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Do universities often require supplementary readings?

Yes, to provide students with broader knowledge on the subject.
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Nov 06, 2023

How are supplementary foods used in diets?

They add nutritional value to the regular diet.
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Can supplementary material become mandatory?

In some educational settings, it can be required for course completion.
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Nov 06, 2023

Can supplemental and supplementary be used interchangeably?

In many contexts, they can, though slight nuances in meaning may be present.
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Nov 06, 2023

Is 'supplemental' or 'supplementary' used for academic papers?

‘Supplementary’ is more common for additional materials in academic papers.
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Which term implies adding out of necessity?

‘Supplemental’ often implies an addition out of necessity.
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What's an example of a supplemental item?

A dietary supplement added to one’s daily intake for better health.
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Nov 06, 2023

What is an example of a supplementary item?

An appendix in a book offering additional data.
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Nov 06, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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