Buy past tense

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Meaning of buy

to acquire something in exchange for money.


Word: buy /baɪ/
  • 1. Every Monday, she buys fresh vegetables from the local market to support the community.
  • 2. He buys a new book each month to expand his reading collection.
  • 3. The company buys high-quality materials to ensure the durability of their products.

Past Simple

Word: bought /bɔːt/
  • 1. She bought a new dress for the party to make sure she looked her absolute best.
  • 2. After realizing they were out of milk, he bought two gallons on his way home from work.
  • 3. They bought a vintage car from the 1960s, dreaming of restoring it to its former glory.

Past Participle

Word: bought /bɔːt/
  • 1. The last book on the shelf has been bought by an eager reader.
  • 2. All the tickets for the concert were bought within minutes of going on sale.
  • 3. The house had been bought before the sign even went up.

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Bare infinitive

  1. Routine or Habitual Actions. When describing regular actions or habits.
    Example. 'I always buy coffee on my way to work.'
  2. General Truths. For stating universal truths or facts.
    Example. 'People buy things they often don't need.'
  3. Scheduled Future Events. In contexts where a future action is scheduled or part of a timetable.
    Example. 'The store buys new stock every Monday.'

Past Simple

  1. Completed Actions in the Past. To talk about actions that were completed at a specific time in the past.
    Example. 'I bought a new bike last week.'
  2. A Series of Completed Actions. When listing actions in the past that occurred one after another.
    Example. 'I woke up late, skipped breakfast, and bought lunch at the cafe.'
  3. Past Facts or Generalizations. For making generalizations about the past.
    Example. 'In the 1800s, people bought goods with gold more often than with paper money.'

Past Participle

  1. Present Perfect Tense. For actions that happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important.
    Example. 'I have bought a new car.' This implies the action has relevance to the present moment.
  2. Past Perfect Tense. When discussing an action that was completed before another action or time in the past.
    Example. 'By the time he arrived, we had already bought the tickets.'
  3. Passive Voice. To indicate that the subject of the sentence is acted upon.
    Example. 'The painting was bought by a collector from France.'
  4. Perfect Participle. To show cause and effect where the cause is an action completed in the past.
    Example. 'Having bought all the necessary ingredients, she started making the cake.' Understanding these nuances ensures effective and precise communication, enhancing both your written and spoken English skills.

Common mistakes

— 01

Confusing 'bought' and 'boughten'

A common mistake is using 'boughten' instead of 'bought' for the past simple and past participle forms of 'buy.' While 'bought' is the correct form for both ('I bought a new car yesterday' and 'I have bought a new car'), 'boughten' is considered nonstandard and is rarely used in contemporary English. It might appear in very specific dialectical contexts but is generally seen as incorrect in standard usage.

— 02

Use of 'buyed' as a past form

Another frequent error is the creation of a regular past simple and past participle form by adding -ed to 'buy,' resulting in 'buyed.' This mistake stems from overgeneralizing the rule that in English, the past tense and past participle of regular verbs are formed by adding -ed to the base form. However, 'buy' is an irregular verb, and its correct past simple and past participle form is 'bought' ('Yesterday, I bought a book' not 'Yesterday, I buyed a book').

— 03

Misuse in perfect tenses

Some learners incorrectly use 'bought' in the present perfect tense by omitting the auxiliary verb 'have,' leading to sentences like 'I bought a new house last year' instead of the correct 'I have bought a new house last year.' This mistake blurs the line between the simple past tense, which narrates completed actions in the past, and the present perfect tense, which connects past actions to the present. The correct usage should include the auxiliary verb to convey the intended meaning accurately.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the past simple and past participle forms of 'buy'?

The past simple form of 'buy' is 'bought,' and the past participle form is also 'bought.' Unlike regular verbs, which typically add '-ed' to form their past tense and past participle, 'buy' is an irregular verb and changes form.

How do you use 'bought' in a past simple sentence?

In a past simple sentence, 'bought' is used to describe an action that was completed at a specific time in the past. For example. 'I bought a new car last year.' This sentence indicates that the action of buying a car happened at a particular time in the past and is now completed.

Can you give an example of 'bought' used as a past participle in a sentence?

Yes, the past participle form 'bought' is often used with auxiliary verbs to form perfect tenses. For example, in the present perfect tense. 'I have bought a new bike.' This sentence suggests that the action of buying a new bike has relevance to the present moment or has been completed at an unspecified time before now.

What is the difference between using 'bought' in the past simple and the past participle form?

The key difference lies in the aspect of time and the structure of the sentence. The past simple form, as in 'I bought a book,' refers to a specific action completed at a specific time in the past. In contrast, the past participle form, used with an auxiliary verb like 'have' or 'had,' often relates the past action to the present or is used to express a completed action without specifying when it happened. For example, 'I have bought a book' implies that at some point before now (without specifying when), you purchased a book, and this action is relevant to the present moment.