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The Correct Usage Of “Flys” Or “Flies”: Which One To Use?

by Shahnawaz Alam
Last Updated on: September 8, 2023

Flys or flies? Which is correct?

These two words are homophones which means that when spoken aloud, they sound similar. But the words when written are spelled differently. And since they sound the same, more often than not, people get confused about which is correct and which word to use in which context. But before we get into get, let’s first understand the rules of conjugation of verbs and how singular nouns can be written in plural forms.

When you want to make a plural of any noun, you add the letter ‘S’ beside it. So for the fly, what you will do is spell it like – Flys.

But this is incorrect. There are some verbs with unique conjugation, and they are spelled differently as the rules that govern their use cases are different.

The spelling flys is incorrect. It is no real English word.

If you want to know more about these words and their differences, you have to go through this article. Here are examples of how to use them correctly.

Flys Or Flies: Which Is Correct?

Flys Or Flies: Which Is Correct?

If you are thinking that flys are a real word, then you are mistaken. It is a common misspelling of the word Flies. (plural form of the word fly). The verb fly means moving through the air. There are so many things that can fly. You can include a bird, an airplane, or a football.

When used as a verb, the third-person singular conjugation of fly (the verb) is converted to flies. It is used with pronouns such as it, he, and she. When used in a sentence with a subject that is in the third person singular number, you have to use FL+ IES instead of using FLYS.

For example, you can say that

  • A bird flies high in the sky.
  • The airplane flies through the cloud.
  • Time flies quickly when you are having fun.

This conjugation rule is not exclusive to the word ‘Fly’ alone. There are other words, such as reply, that follow the same conjugation rule. To know if it is flys or flies, you need to follow these examples–

  • To reply: the man replies, she replies, he replies.
  • To apply: she applies, he applies, it applies. 
  • To spy: she spies, he spies, it spies.

An easy way to remember their difference is by remembering the general rule for verbs that end with the letter ‘Y.’

What Is The Plural Of Fly?

What Is The Plural Of Fly?

Now, apart from seeing the word like a verb, if you want to use it as a noun, meaning the small insect, you also have to use the spelling ‘Flies.’ The plural form of the word fly is also not flys.

The word ends with – EIS and not an S. The plural form of the word fly is also spelled the same as the verb form of the word – flies. Now, if you want some examples, you have to follow the ones I have given here –

  • There were different insects hidden inside the gift box Nancy sent to her cousin. There were dead flies, mosquitoes, spiders, and more.
  • There are so many flies around the house during the summer. I want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
  • I love to learn about different insects. Currently, I am studying flies.

So, is it flys or flies? I think you have the answer.

However, one should also know that the word (spelling) flys was also a correct word in 19th C England. It meant a specific type of four-wheeled vehicle drawn by humans. The name of this vehicle in singular number was Fly. But in the plural form, it was spelled as flys.

This mode of transportation no longer exists at the current time, so the need for the word has also stopped. You will only use the word if you are writing about 19th C England.

Exceptions to the rule 

The plural of the word ‘Fly’ is in most cases “Flies.” But always there are exceptions to this rule too. Below we have mentioned some situations where it is acceptable to use the “flys” – 

  • One of the situations where it is acceptable to use ‘Flys’ as the plural of ‘Flies’ is when one is talking about the fabric/zipper portion in the crotch area of trousers or pants. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a closing of the garment covered by a fold of cloth extending over the fastener is called a fly. 
  • Another instance where one can use ‘flys’ as the plural of ‘fly’ is when they are talking about more than one fly ball in baseball. Fly balls in baseball refers to balls that go into the outfield after being hit high into the air by the batter.
  • The area over a theatre stage consists of a complicated system of ropes, counterweights, pulleys, and other related devices that are used to hoist or lower objects like curtains, scenery, lights, stage effects, and sometimes people too. It is commonly known as theatrical rigging or fly system. Sometimes it is referred to as ‘fly riggings,’ but if used in this particular context, ‘flys’ will also be appropriate.

Here are some example sentences where using “Flys” is appropriate: 

  • They covered the flys of their jeans
  • The baseball game had more flys than most games
  • The flys were efficient carriages when it came to timely deliveries
  • Rebecca’s favorite places to check out in theaters were the flys.

What Does ‘Flies’ Mean As A Verb?

What Does ‘Flies’ Mean As A Verb?

The meaning is simple. The word flies mean the action of flying in the air or being in the air. This word is a misspelling of the word flies. As I have explained before, this word is used to describe objects that fly.

Again, here are some examples –

  • The butterfly flies.
  • The dragonflies
  • Time flies

Here are some more examples of how the word “Flies” can be used as a verb – 

  • He turns into a bird in his hands and flies away.
  • He flies to Persia, evades the pursuers whom Astyages sends after him, and begins the rebellion.
  • The cockpit doors of every large passenger airplane that flies in the United States have been hardened.
  • He flies into a psychotic rage and tries to murder de Beer but the latter manages to escape and vows revenge.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio flies with commercial airlines for almost all of his trips.

What Does ‘Flies’ Mean As A Noun?

What Does ‘Flies’ Mean As A Noun?

As a noun, the word flies mean a plural form of the insect fly. When addressing the insect in plural form, one has to spell it as – flies.

  • Flies are the careers of different diseases.
  • The dead body was covered in flies.

Here are some more examples of how the word “flies” can be used as a noun – 

  • Once the flies start hatching, the fish respond by surface feeding, then dry fly fishing becomes the epitome of sport for most anglers.
  • The plant emits a stench to attract decaying flesh-eating beetles, flies and sweat bees for pollination.
  • Other interesting subjects to study are wasps, bees, flies, beetles, butterflies, moths, and dragonflies.
  • They descend like flies wherever there’s fast money to be made.
  • They are dying like flies, and who cares about them?

Use Of Flies In A Sentence

Use Of Flies In A Sentence

Once you go through these examples drawn from popular books, you will know more about how to use the spelling when writing –

“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it.”


“Disgusted at the guilt or absurdity of Mankind, the Misanthrope flies from it: He resolves to become a Hermit, and buries himself in the Cavern of some gloomy Rock.”

Matthew Gregory Lewis, The Monk

“I was trained to be an evil mastermind from a young age. Pulling the wings off flies, poisoning the earth’s water supply—I was covering that stuff in kindergarten.”

Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes


So, that was all the difference you need to know between Flys and flies. If you were wondering which one was correct between flys vs flies, then the answer is ‘flies.’ You can remember the difference between them by keeping in mind the general rules of verbs that end with the letter Y. I hope that you have found the answer to your query.

However, if you have any additional questions, you can let us know through our comment section. We will get in touch with you in a flash.

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