Posted by: helpforyourenglish | January 9, 2011

Commonly confused words: bought, brought

Commonly confused words

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Bought and brought

I have seen many people confuse these two words, even some native English speakers, but it’s not really difficult to remember what each word means and it’s easy to notice the difference in spelling. One word has an R in it, the other one doesn’t.

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Brought is the past participle of bring. (Notice that both words start with a B and an R)

Bought is the past participle of buy. (There is no R in either of the words. There is a B and then a vowel.)

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(BUY / BOUGHT) I want to buy a new computer. My sister bought a new PC yesterday.

(BRING / BROUGHT) I’m glad you brought your camera with you. I forgot to bring mine.

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Both words are verbs – action words. There is only one letter difference in the spelling of the words but that one letter changes the meaning of the word. This means you should try to pronounce the words differently – make sure you pronounce the letter R in the word BROUGHT.

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Here are some examples of mistakes:

XX I brought a new 750gb Media player hard drive for thirty dollars. XX

XX I just brought a big house in the countryside. XX

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Can you remember now? Let’s see. Choose the correct word for each sentence.

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Q1. What did you buy at the market this morning?

A1. I ______________ some apples and some bananas.

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Q2. Did you bring your daughter with you?

A2. Yes, of course I ______________ her!

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