Bought or Brought?

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The Difference between "Bought" and "Brought"

"Bought" and "brought" are easily confused because they sound so similar.
  • "Bought" is the past tense of "to buy." For example:
    • I bought a new laptop.
  • "Brought" is the past tense of "to bring." For example:
    • James brought the birthday cake to the restaurant this morning.
bought or brought?

Bought

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

Example sentences with "bought":
  • I bought a seven-dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring. (Comedian 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. (Comedian Rita Rudner)
  • (Here, "bought" is a past participle.)

Brought

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

Example sentences with "brought":
  • I brought the film like a flower to the world. (Film director 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. (Artist Vincent Van Gogh)
  • (Here, "brought" is a past participle.)
Remembering "Brought"


Let the r in "brought" remind you of "bring."

Brought or Brung?

The past tense of "to bring" is "brought." "Brung" does not exist. It is a spelling mistake. "Brang" does not exist either. It is also a spelling mistake. This mistake is understandable when you consider the past forms of similar-looking verbs:
verbpast tensepast participle
to ringrangrung
to singsangsung
to bringbrang
brought
brung
brought

Common Terms with "Bought" and "Brought"

Terms with "bought":
  • bought a car
  • bought as seen
  • bought the farm
  • bought the dummy
Terms with "brought":
  • brought a smile to my face
  • brought a tear to my eye
  • brought down
  • brought forward
  • brought into question
  • brought it up
  • brought to bear
Ready for the Test?
Here is a confirmatory test for this lesson.

This test can also be:
  • Edited (i.e., you can delete questions and play with the order of the questions).
  • Printed to create a handout.
  • Sent electronically 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