What is the Past Tense of Buy
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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

 InfinitiveSimple 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

(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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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


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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