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What is the Past Tense of Buy

The verb “buy” is one that all ESL beginners learn quite early and quickly, mostly because of its everyday utility and common use. The most common meaning for the verb “buy” is to purchase something; obtain goods or services in exchange for money.

However, there is one additional and somewhat more abstract usage, which means to believe; to accept the truth of something.

The past tense of “buy” is “bought” and the past participle is also “bought.”

What is the past tense of “buy”?

Buy (verb):

(1) Purchase; obtain goods or services in exchange for money

(2) To believe something

  • Infinitive                       to buy
  • Simple Past                bought
  • Past Participle             bought

Conjugation Table of Buy

 pronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Ibuyboughthave boughtam buying
You (sing.)buyboughthave boughtare buying
He/She/Itbuysboughthas boughtis buying
Webuyboughthave boughtare buying
You (pl.)buyboughthave boughtare buying
Theybuyboughthave boughtare buying

Example Sentences of Buy

(1) Purchase; obtain goods or services in exchange for money

  • Do you want to buy these oranges? They’re sweet and delicious!
  • I’m thinking about buying a new house. What do you think?
  • We bought the tickets yesterday, and are excited to get going!

(2) To believe something

  • He said that? I don’t buy it.
  • They explained that the reason for costs being so high was the knock-on effect of rising labor costs in Romania where their factory is, but frankly I don’t buy it
  • I don’t buy his excuses anymore, I think it’s time to move on
What is the Past Tense of Buy

Focus: Past Tense of Buy

As an irregular verb, the past-tense forms of the verb “buy” can be the most troublesome and confusing for some learners. The change between infinitive and past tense is quite great, after all. To strengthen our knowledge on the past-tense forms, we have prepared example sentences using the following tenses:

  • Simple past
  • Present perfect
  • Past continuous
  • Past perfect

Simple Past of Buy

  • In the end, I bought the sunglasses because I thought I should treat myself
  • We bought a new house last year and now we are regretting that decision
  • They bought a new car even though they have been experiencing money troubles

Present Perfect of Buy

  • I have bought a puppy for the kids’ Christmas present this year
  • We have bought you dinner on many occasions, but you’ve never returned the favor
  • What have you bought Andrew for his birthday?

Past Continuous of Buy

  • I was buying a round of drinks at the bar when I realized I had left my wallet at home
  • They were out buying new clothes in New York all day yesterday, so you can’t have seen them in Connecticut
  • Were you buying a car when I saw you at the dealership yesterday, or just looking?

Past Perfect of Buy

  • He had already bought the house when he discovered dry rot in the basement
  • She had bought the dress on sale, and so the store wouldn’t let her return it or get a refund

Understanding the Verb “Buy”

The verb “buy” comes from Old English “bycgan,” and it relates to acquiring possession of something in exchange for payment. In casual English, it can also imply believing something without skepticism.

Phrasal Verbs with “Buy”

  1. Buy into: To believe in something, especially an idea or concept.
    • Not everyone is buying into the new company philosophy.
    • She didn’t buy into the popular beliefs.
  2. Buy out: To purchase someone’s share of something, often a business.
    • The larger company bought out the smaller one.
    • They want to buy out the competitors.
  3. Buy up: To purchase all or large quantities of something.
    • Investors bought up all the available shares.
    • There was a sale, and customers bought up most of the stock.

Common Mistakes with “Buy”

  • Incorrect: I buyed a new car yesterday.
  • Correct: I bought a new car yesterday.
  • Incorrect: He has buy a new suit for the wedding.
  • Correct: He has bought a new suit for the wedding.

We also have a full list of irregular verbs from A – Z on the site which you can access from the link here.

You can check other past tense words by clicking on the links in the table below.

Table 2: Table of Links for irregular Past Tense Verbs

learn keepfindbe

We also have articles and worksheets which we will link examples of below, and if you need more you can try the search box.


Buy is a common verb to be introduced at the beginning of an English learners journey, and one of the more complex at least it terms of spelling, hopefully the explanation and tables above help you and/or your students master the past tense of buy easily 🙂

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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