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Bought or brought?

In speech it isn’t always clear whether someone says brought or bought, but I really hate seeing them written in the wrong context so here are definitions to help people get them right…

bought: to have purchased something. It is the past tense of the word buy.
They bought their car from a registered dealer

brought: to have carried or taken something/someone with you. It is the past tense of the word bring.
She brought a friend with her to the conference.

‘After you bring something you’ve brought it’ is a handy reminder of which is which as many people get confused over these two words.

If you are not confident you are getting words like bought and brought in the correct places, get a second opinion before you make your writing public. Ask a friend to read your work for you (not just to catch a brought/bought error) or get a professional to edit your work for you, especially if it is something important like your website content or product manual.

Learn more writing tips from the Writing Well eBook

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