Bought or Brought?

by Craig Shrives
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 is the simple past tense and past participle of the verb to buy.

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

  • 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.)
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are verbs? What is the simple past tense? What are past participles? List of easily confused words