There are many words in the English language that can be easily confused. In fact, there are often two words that are spelled & pronounced very similarly. This can make it very difficult for new English speakers to understand. Having to choose between flys or flies is a prime example of such a rule. In this post, we’ll teach you how to use the plural form of the word fly correctly in your writing!
Flies or Flys: What’s The Difference?
Flys & flies are homophones & are pronounced the exact same. This is very similar to the Paid & Payed grammar rules! However, these two words cannot be used interchangeably in your writing! Here are the main differences:
- Flys – Not a word! Flys is a common spelling error for the word flies. Flys is NOT one of the plural forms of the word fly.
- Flies – Has various meanings depending on the part of speech & context of the sentence.
- Verb – Flies can be used as a verb meaning that something is moving or soaring through the air (usually with wings).
- Noun – Flies can also be used as a noun to refer to a group of insects (i.e. fruit flies, flesh flies, house flies, etc.)
Takeaway: The correct answer is spelled flies. Flys is NOT a word.
How To use Flys
Flys is not a word and should not be used in your writing! However, the word fly can be used as a noun & verb.
- Noun Fly: Insect with wings
- Verb Fly: To move through the air using wings or other mechanism.
This is very similar to what we saw in our analysis of the words lives & lifes! Lifes is also NOT a word and should not be used in your writin!
Remember, flys is NOT one of the correct plural forms of fly. Instead, here are a few ways you can use the word fly in your writing.
- I saw a stable fly land directly on the back of my horse.
- Always bring a glove to baseball games incase fly balls come your way!
- Every since I was a child I have wished that I could fly like a bird.
However, just like we saw in our post comparing the terms at least or atleast, even the smallest of spelling mistakes can totally change a sentence!
How To Use Flies
The word “flies” is very versatile & is used frequently in daily conversation.
- Verb: It can be used as a verb meaning to move through the air quickly (e.g. The plane flew over the clouds)
- Noun: Referring to a group of insects (e.g. The flies were buzzing around the window).
You can also use flies in an informal context when referring to the time! For example, time flies when your having fun! Just like the phrase “how did it go“, time flies is used very frequently in casual conversations!
Here are some example sentences that demonstrate how to use the noun and verb flies in your writing.
- As a piolet, John flies around the world.
- The plumber was surprised to find swarms of drain flies under my sink.
- The same owl flies over my house at night and lands in my favorite tree.
However, just like we learned in our post about sounds good meaning, there is a difference between formal and informal writing. Informal vocabulary should not be used in a formal writing context.
Plural Form of Winged Insect
The word flies is also popularly used to refer to a group of winged insects. You will find these insects in your trash & waste bins. They circle around your head making a buzzing sound! In our article about how do you spell tomatoes we learned even more about the rules for spelling plural nouns!
Things That Can Fly
Now, you should have a firm understanding of the verb fly. Here are a list of some things that can fly!
- Superhero (i.e. Superman)
- Birds (i.e. hawk)
- Insects (i.e. mosquitoes)
- Electronics (i.e. drone)
- Transportation Devices (i.e. helicopter & plane)
Conjugations Of The Verb Fly
There are many different ways to use the verb to fly. Consider the context of your sentence before choosing the right conjugation for you.
- Present continuous tense – I am flying home from vacation right now.
- Simple past tense – I flew back from vacation yesterday.
- Past continuous tense – I was flying down the highway when I got the call.
- Present perfect tense – I have flown in to town on a plane.
- Present perfect continuous tense – I have been flying for over 6 hours.
- Past perfect tense – I had flown to Florida 6 times.
Remember, just like we saw in our comparison of the words Hobo & Vagrant, not all words can be used interchangeably!
Frequently Asked Questions
Flies is the correct plural form of the verb or noun fly. For example, you might say “Steven flies plans for a living.” Or, you might say “I can’t go in the backyard because there are too many flies by the trash can.”
Yes, it is correct to say the phrase time flies. This means that time seems to be passing by quickly. It is a popular figure of speech that usually involves an activity you enjoy. For example, “time flies when I am watching my favorite football team play.” This is the singular present tense conjugation.
The correct spelling is flies. The verb fly means to soar or move through the air. For example, “Mark is a piolet and flies Monday through Friday for American Airlines!”
The plural form of the word fly is flies. Flies can refer to a group of winged insects. For example “I left my trash can open and now I have tons of house flies circling around.” Flies can also be used as a verb. For example, “Every morning the bird flies to my house and lands in my backyard.”
Multiple flies are called a swarm. For example, “there is a swarm of fruit flies hovering over my dirty dishes.” When there is more than one fruit fly, they are called fruit flies. When you have a group of fruit flies they are called a swarm!
You might say “I opened my trashcan to find a group of flesh flies buzzing around my head.” The word fly is a very versatile word. The definitions range from soaring through the air to a fly ball at a baseball game. Pay close attention to the context of the sentence to determine the correct meaning!
The Bottom Line
By now, you should have a clear understanding of the difference between the words flies vs flys. Flys is NOT a word and should NOT be used in your writing! Flies is the correct word and can be used as a plural verb or noun describing a flying insect. If you are struggling with this spelling rule, consider using our reword a sentence for me tool. Our tool is FREE of charge and will ensure you have the correct spelling and sentence structure in your writing!