Easily Confused Words: Bought vs. Bout vs. About vs. Bot

Bought, Bout, and Bot are easily confused words. Bought and Bot are homophones. Bout looks like it would sound like those other two, but its sound is actually “ow!” not aww, so it rhymes with out, lout, shout, kraut.

Bought is a verb, it is the past tense of “to buy.”

Bout is a noun, it is means a case or a situation. Most often, it describes a term of illness: a bout of cancer, a bout of strep throat. “A bout” should not be confused with the preposition “about”. [Here is the States we say “about” for the preposition, but in Canada, it sounds more like “aboot”.]

Bot is a noun, it is slang for “robot.” With the arrival of the internet, “bots” has come to mean programs that automate online tasks like making online ads that automatically appear in response to content, searching for data, or simulating a real person’s social media account are called “bots.”

Here’s an example sentence using all three words correctly:

I was glad I bought meds before my bout with stomach flu, sadly, there’s no bot that can order them, and go pick them up for me after the fact.

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