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Time Flys Or Time Flies: Which Is The Correct Spelling?

by subhasree nag

It was last week when I was checking the answer sheet of my niece, and I came across the mistakes she made. She was asked the plural form of a fly, and she wrote “flys.” Her mistake amused me for a while, but then I realized this must be something every child goes through. A mistake every child makes.

By now, you all have understood what we are going to discuss in this article. So, without further ado, let’s get on with the confusion there is about “flys or flies” or, to be precise, “time flys or time flies.”

Is It Flys Or Flies?

Is it flys or flies

Both the term we are discussing here comes from a root word, that is, fly. And fly can mean a noun or a verb. When we are referring to fly as a noun, we mean a particular type of insect. But when we are looking for the plural form of fly, it is flies. This is the reason why fly is considered an irregular noun, as it does not follow the rule of adding an ‘s’ at the end to form the plural form.

When we are referring to fly as a verb, we mean to move through the air or float in the air. But when we convert the verb into a third-person singular tense, it becomes “flies.” Though it is a verb and a different rule applies here, the end result becomes the same.

This is just not the case with fly. There are various other verbs in the English language that end with the letter ‘y’ that follows the above-mentioned rule. For example:

  • To reply- she replies, he replies, it replies
  • To cry – she cries, he cries, it cries
  • To supply – she supplies, he supplies, it supplies

So, to make it short, whichever form you are using, the noun or the verb, the term “flys” is not the correct application of any form. It is just a misspelling of the term “flies.” 

Examples Of Flies

  • There are a lot of flies around the trashcan; kindly move it to a less crowded place.
  • “A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it.” – The Children Of Hurin
  • “I keep thinking about a tale my nurse used to read to me about a bird whose wings are pinned to the ground. In the end, when he finally frees himself, he flies so high he becomes a star.” – Princess Academy
  • “And even if he forever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.” – Moby Dick
  • “Look, see the child’s swollen, swollen belly and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, his skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside?” – American Gods

Time Flys Or Time Flies?

Is it flys or flies

Confused just like my niece, about “time flys or time flies?” the correct phrase is time flies. The verb here is used in describing what time is doing; time here is a third-person noun. But as we know, time is a concept, and it is regarded as a singular noun. 

This particular phrase is in the present tense, but it might happen that you have to use the phrase in any other tense. So let’s have a look at how you can address the phrase in the other tenses. 

Past tense – Time flew by

Future tense – Time will fly

Present progressive tense – Time is flying

What Do We Mean When We Say Time Flies?

It will be difficult for you to remember the spelling if you have never heard or said the phrase before. Well, the phrase basically means that time moves fast. We typically use this phrase to mean that time is passing quickly.

There are many ways people use the phrase time flies, but the most common one is “time flies when you are having fun.” Of course, it does not mean that time is literally flying, it means idiomatically.

Expressions Using “Time Flies”

Expressions using “time flies”

There are various proverbs, jokes, and idioms in the English language that use the expression “time flies.” Let’s get on with a few examples.

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

This proverb explains that time passes quickly when you are having a good time. Usually, this is said to answer someone who has made a comment about time. The section below shows a conversation between two people, check how the phrase has been used.

Joe: It is already four o’clock, I thought it had just been thirty minutes since I came here.

Jen: Yes, Time flies when you are having fun. Isn’t it?

How Time Flies

This short interjection is often found in various conversations. This phrase can be said when you are meeting a person after a long time. This comes with the connotation of how surprised you are because it has been so long since you people last met. Check out the example below.

Lucy: Hey, how have you been?

Jen: Nothing new, I have been working at the same firm since I left yours two years ago.

Lucy: Wow, has it been really that long; how time flies.

Bottom Line

The idiom time flies, is the correct expression to use. There should be no confusion between time flys or time flies. Flys is just a misspelling of the word flies, no matter what the meaning is.

I hope this article has managed to clear your doubts about time flys or time flies. There are various ways in which you can use the phrase, but the spelling should be correct. All you have to do is remember that ‘flys’ is the incorrect spelling and should never be used anywhere while writing.

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