Blog/Grammar tips
6 November 2023
4 min read

Fly Past Tense: What Is It?

Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of a sentence, your confidence faltering as you approach the word "fly," only to pause and wonder, "What's the past tense again?" If this sounds like you, don't worry! You're about to embark on a linguistic journey that will clear up all the confusion around the 'Fly Past Tense'.

Introduction to 'Fly Past Tense'

Think about the word "fly" for a moment. It's a simple three-letter word that we all understand means to soar through the air, perhaps like a bird or an airplane. But when we start talking about a flight we took last year, things get a bit more complicated. That's where past tense comes in, and for the word "fly," things are not as straightforward as adding -ed to the end.

Grow sessions and drive revenue for your eCommerce brand

Get a demo and discover how eCommerce brands use Strategically AI to drive sessions, grow revenue, and reduce reliance on paid ads.

Understanding Basic Verb Tenses

Before we dive deep into the world of 'Fly Past Tense,' let's set the stage by quickly going over verb tenses. Tenses help us pin down when an action happens—whether it's happening right now (present), happened before (past), or will happen in the future (future). Most verbs play nice and follow regular rules, but some, like our friend "fly," like to break the mold.

The Transformation of 'Fly'

So, what happens to "fly" when we talk about it in the past tense? It transforms into "flew." That's right—no "flied" or "flayed" here. It’s one of those instances where you just have to memorize the change because it doesn’t fit the regular patterns.

Common Mistakes and Misunderstandings

A common blunder is to think "flyed" is correct because we’re so used to adding -ed to verbs to make them past tense. But saying "Yesterday, I flyed to Paris" would be like saying you drove there in a car made of cheese—it just doesn't make sense.

'Fly' in Irregular Verb Form

"Fly" is what grammarians call an irregular verb. This group of verbs doesn't believe in conformity and instead opts for unique past tense forms. Alongside "fly," there are verbs like "go" which turns to "went," and "eat" which becomes "ate." They’re the rebels of the verb world.

'Flew' vs 'Flown': When to Use What

"Flew" is the simple past tense of "fly," but when we step into perfect tenses, "flown" enters the stage. "Flown" is the past participle, used with helping verbs like "has," "have," or "had."

The Importance of Context

Understanding the context is crucial when using 'Fly Past Tense.' "I flew to Spain last summer," tells us about a completed action. If someone says, "I have flown to Spain three times," it informs us that, over time, they have experienced flying to Spain on three occasions.

Perfecting Past Tense in Writing

Using 'Fly Past Tense' correctly can be a mark of polished writing. Imagine you’re painting a picture of your travels; using "flew" appropriately can be like choosing the right shade of blue for your sky—it just makes the scene complete.

"Flew" pops up in songs, movies, and books, often as a symbol of freedom or escape. Its correct use in such mediums further cements its place in our language and memory.

Fun Ways to Remember Irregular Verbs

Think of irregular verbs as the odd socks in your drawer. They don't fit the pattern, but they stand out. Associating "fly" with an image of a bird taking off—the "fl-" taking flight—might just make it stick.

English can be tricky with its verb tenses, but understanding each one's role can be like learning to navigate a city's streets: daunting at first, but rewarding once you know the way.

Tips for Non-Native English Speakers

For those learning English as a second language, 'Fly Past Tense' can seem like a hurdle. My tip? Read, listen, and practice. Language is a living thing, and immersion is key to getting a feel for its quirks.

The Role of 'Fly Past Tense' in Poetry

In poetry, the past tense of "fly" can convey movement, change, or the passage of time. It’s like a brushstroke that helps the poet paint a moment or a memory.

Exercises to Master 'Fly Past Tense'

Regular exercises and quizzes can help you master 'Fly Past Tense.' It's like muscle memory; the more you use it, the more natural it becomes.


Understanding 'Fly Past Tense' is essential for clear and correct English communication. It’s a small but mighty part of language that, once mastered, will serve you well in both speech and writing.

FAQs About 'Fly Past Tense'

Why is 'flew' the past tense of 'fly'?

Flew is the past tense of fly because of the way English has evolved over time, adopting irregular patterns for some verbs.

Can you ever say 'flyed'?

No, 'flyed' is never the correct past tense form of 'fly.'

Is 'flown' ever used without a helper verb?

'Flown' is a past participle and needs a helper verb like 'has,' 'have,' or 'had.'

How can I practice using 'fly past tense'?

You can practice by reading books, listening to conversations, and doing exercises that focus on past tense verbs.

Are there any tricks to learning irregular verbs?

Yes, associating the verb with a vivid image or story can help you remember its irregular forms.

Grow sessions and drive revenue for your eCommerce brand

Get a demo and discover how eCommerce brands use Strategically AI to drive sessions, grow revenue, and reduce reliance on paid ads.