Flies or Flys: Which Is Right?

The words flies and flys sound the exact same, meaning they’re homophones, but they have two very different meanings. Now, this may pose the question of, ‘wait, if they sound the same, how do I know whether to use flies vs flys and in which context?’ Not to worry! It is important to know the difference between these two words when writing & typing, to avoid mixing them up. This post will cover the difference between these two words and in what context to use the word flies vs flys.

What Does the Word “Flys” Mean?

While this section will cover in which situations one may see or use the word flys, it is important to keep this thought in mind – the word ‘flys’ is very rarely used. Only in specific contexts does this word appear with this spelling, but there are a few.

To understand when we would use the word flys, we should first understand in which instances the term would appear. Sometimes, the pants on a person’s zipper is colloquially known as a ‘fly’. If you happen to see multiple people whose zippers are down on their pants, this is a correct time to say something along the lines of

‘Their flys are down!’.

Another context in which we would see this usage is in the sports world, particularly in baseball. When a batter hits a ball up in the air and a fielder catches it before the ball hits the ground, that is referred to as a ‘fly ball’. When looking through statistics for specific players, one may be looking at how many fly balls someone has successfully caught. This could, informally, be known as how many ‘flys’ this player has caught.

What Does the Word “Flies” Mean?

As mentioned previously, this term that we are talking about here is commonly spelled as ‘flies’. The most common use is when we are talking about the plural of a fly, the insect. One example of this use may be

‘The church picnic was so much fun but I was surprised that there were so many flies around all of the food!’.

This same concept can be used for other uses of the word fly, including the verb which means to glide or move through the sky. We use this form of the word when referring to the action of ‘flying’. A perfect example of this use may be when talking about a recent vacation that a family member or friend took. It would make sense in this context to hear

‘She always flies to Florida instead of drives, as it’s so much quicker and more efficient!’.

How to Remember the Difference

Most circumstances call for using the word “flies” so that should be your go-to word. An easy way to remember is that “flies” has the letter “i” in it and so “insect” and “flight”.

Conclusion

When writing or typing, it is quite possible that you’ll come across the inner question of, ‘which do I use, flies or flys?’. This is something that can be confusing, as these words are homophones, so the confusion makes sense!! It is important to remember to look at the context surrounding the word, and this will help to inform yourself as to whether flies or flys is the correct usage in the situation you’re working through.


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