Difference Wiki

Brought vs. Bought: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
Brought is the past tense of "bring," while bought is the past tense of "buy."

Key Differences

Brought derives from the verb "bring," which means to carry or take someone or something to a place or person. In contrast, bought comes from the verb "buy," meaning to obtain in exchange for payment.
Both words, brought and bought, are past tense forms and are often confused because of their phonetic similarity. However, their uses in sentences are distinct based on their root verbs. For instance, one might have brought a friend to a party but bought a gift for the host.
Context is critical in understanding and differentiating between brought and bought. The action denoted by brought implies movement or presentation, whereas bought signifies a transaction.

Comparison Chart

Verb Origin



To carry or take to a location
To obtain in exchange for money


Denotes movement or presentation
Indicates a transaction


He brought his friend to the party
He bought a new car

Common Confusion

Often mixed up with bought due to phonetic similarity
Frequently confused with brought due to sound

Brought and Bought Definitions


Brought is used to suggest the introduction of a topic.
He brought up a valid point during the discussion.


Bought is the past tense of "buy."
She bought a new dress for the event.


Brought can also mean to cause or result in.
The movie brought tears to her eyes.


Bought refers to a completed transaction.
They bought a house last year.


Brought implies motion towards or with the speaker.
I brought my dog to the park.


Bought can be used to suggest belief or acceptance.
I never bought into that idea.


Brought is the past tense of "bring."
He brought his homework to school.


Bought indicates obtaining something in exchange for money.
He bought a ticket for the concert.


Brought indicates taking or carrying something or someone.
She brought the umbrella in case it rained.


Bought can sometimes imply a sense of investment.
She bought a stake in the company.


Past tense and past participle of bring.


Past tense and past participle of buy. See Note at boughten.


Simple past tense and past participle of bring


Is it correct to say "I brought a book from the store"?

It would be more accurate to say "I bought a book from the store" or "I brought a book from home."

Can bought be used in contexts other than shopping?

Yes, it can mean belief or acceptance, like "I never bought into that theory."

What does brought mean?

Brought is the past tense of "bring," meaning to carry or take to a place or person.

Is bought related to purchasing?

Yes, bought is the past tense of "buy," meaning to obtain something in exchange for payment.

If I acquire something from a store, which term applies?

Use "bought," as in "I bought a new shirt."

Why do people confuse brought and bought?

They sound similar, but their meanings differ based on their root verbs.

Can I say "I bought to the party a cake"?

The correct phrasing is "I brought a cake to the party."

Do brought and bought have similar verb forms?

Their past tense and past participles are similar, but their base and gerund forms differ: bring/bringing and buy/buying.

Which one relates to motion: brought or bought?

"Brought" relates to motion, as in carrying or taking something somewhere.

How can I remember the difference between brought and bought?

Recall that "brought" involves taking or carrying (like "bring"), while "bought" involves purchasing (like "buy").

Is it common to confuse these two words?

Yes, due to their phonetic similarity, many people mix them up.

What's the base verb for bought?

The base verb for bought is "buy."

If I take someone to a store, which word should I use?

You would use "brought" as in "I brought my friend to the store."

What's the verb form for something that's currently happening with "buy"?

It would be "buying," as in "I am buying a gift."

Can brought imply introduction of a topic?

Yes, as in "She brought up a new proposal."

What verb tense is "bringing"?

"Bringing" is the present participle of "bring."

Can I use brought and bought interchangeably?

No, they have different meanings; brought is about carrying, while bought relates to purchasing.

Can brought suggest causing a feeling?

Yes, as in "The news brought joy to her."

Can bought imply an investment?

Yes, as in "He bought shares in the company."

If I accept an idea, which term should I use?

You can use "bought," as in "I bought into his plan."
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons