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Plural of Fly: Flies or Flys?

plural of fly

In the English language, the transformation from singular to plural forms often follows predictable patterns, but there are always exceptions that intrigue learners and language enthusiasts alike. One such word is “fly,” a term frequently encountered in various contexts. This article delves into the plural of “fly,” exploring its linguistic nuances, common uses, and the pitfalls that may confuse learners.

The Singular and Plural of “Fly”

The word “fly” serves both as a noun and a verb, each with distinct plural forms based on its usage.

  • As a Noun: The plural of “fly,” when referring to the insect, is “flies.” For example, “One fly is annoying, but a swarm of flies can be a nightmare.
  • As a Verb: The plural form of “fly” remains “fly” when used in sentences that involve subjects in the plural. For example, “Birds fly south for the winter.”
Verb Fly

Understanding “Fly”

Definition of “Fly”

  • As a Noun: “Fly” refers to any of the small winged insects belonging to the order Diptera, known for their ability to fly.
  • As a Verb: It means to move through the air using wings or to travel in an aircraft or other vehicle capable of air travel.

Usage of “Fly”

The word “fly” finds its usage in various contexts, highlighting its versatility:

  • In Biology: Referring to the insect.
  • In Aviation and Travel: Describing the act of air travel.
  • In Sports and Recreation: Used metaphorically, such as in the phrase “letting ideas fly” or in fishing, where “fly” refers to a type of artificial bait.

Use of “Fly” in Sentences

  1. As a Noun: The kitchen was infested with flies after the window was left open overnight.
  2. As a Verb (Singular): She hopes to fly to Paris next summer for vacation.
  3. As a Verb (Plural): They fly back to their home country every winter to visit family.
  4. In Metaphors: His imagination flies beyond the ordinary, creating vivid worlds.
  5. In Idioms: “To let something fly” often means to proceed with an action without restraint.

Common Mistakes and Confusions

  • Flys vs. Flies: A common mistake is the misspelling of the plural form of “fly” (the insect) as “flys.” The correct spelling is “flies.”
  • Fly’s: Incorrectly used as a plural form, “fly’s” is actually the possessive form of “fly,” as in “a fly’s wings.”
  • Contextual Misuse: Mixing up the noun and verb forms in the plural can lead to confusion. Remember, the noun form changes to “flies” for the insect, but the verb form remains “fly” for plural subjects.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Is “flies” the correct plural form for all meanings of “fly”?
    No, “flies” is the plural form when “fly” is used as a noun to refer to the insect. The verb form does not change in the plural.
  • How do you differentiate between “flies” as a noun and as a verb?
    Context is key. As a noun, “flies” refers to multiple insects. As a verb, it describes the action of flying, applicable to both singular and plural subjects without change.
  • Can “fly” have other plural forms based on different meanings?
    No, “fly” maintains a consistent approach to pluralization: “flies” for the insect, and “fly” remains unchanged as a verb for plural subjects.


Understanding the plural of “fly” requires attention to context, distinguishing between its use as a noun and a verb. Mastery of such distinctions enhances precision in language use, an invaluable skill for learners and seasoned speakers alike. Remember, the journey to linguistic proficiency is paved with the nuances of words like “fly,” making the exploration of plural forms both a challenge and a delight.


What is the plural of the noun “fly”?

The plural form of the noun “fly” is “flies.” The word “flys” is not a valid plural form in modern English.

How do you conjugate the verb “fly” in the third-person singular present tense?

The verb “fly” has the third-person singular present tense conjugation of “flies.” This is used with pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “it.”

Can you give examples of using “flies” in sentences?

Sure! Examples of using “flies” include references to different types of flying insects like fruit flies, flesh flies, and house flies.

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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