Bought or brought

Ask the wise old owl

Wise Old Owl

What’s the difference between bought and brought?

This is something that native speakers get wrong sometimes and I have even seen this mistake on one of our national news sites.

“Bought” is a past tense form of the verb “to buy”.
I bought a new laptop. I bought a wedding present for our friends. We had bought so many things that it was difficult to carry them all!

“Brought” is a past tense form of the verb “to bring”.
I brought a cake along to the picnic. I brought my boyfriend to the party. I brought some photos to show you.

When you’ve been shopping, it’s incorrect to use “brought”. You can’t say “I’ve just brought a new laptop.”

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