Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Bought or Brought?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between bought and brought?

Bought is the past tense of to buy.
  • I bought a new laptop
Brought is the past tense of to bring.
  • James brought the birthday cake to the restaurant this morning.

Bought

Bought is the simple past tense and past participle of the verb to buy.

Examples:
  • I bought a seven-dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring. (Mitch Hedberg)
  • (Here, bought is in the simple past tense.)
  • Men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage - they have experienced pain and have bought jewelry. (Rita Rudner)
  • (Here, bought is a past participle.)

Brought

Brought is the simple past tense and past participle of the verb to bring.

Examples:
  • I brought the film like a flower to the world. (Claude Chabrol)
  • (Here, brought is in the simple past tense.)
  • Great things are done by a series of small things that have been brought together. (Vincent Van Gogh)
  • (Here, brought is a past participle.)
Top Tip

How to Remember Brought

Let the r in brought remind you of bring.

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