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  1. #1
    hhtt21 is offline Key Member
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    fly v. float

    I would like to ask that if a flag is flown in the air, does it also float in the air? Then are fly and float the same verbs for this context?

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fly

    Thank you.
    Last edited by hhtt21; 22-Aug-2017 at 22:20.

  2. #2
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: fly v. float

    Here are the definitions of "float"
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/float

  3. #3
    hhtt21 is offline Key Member
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    Re: fly v. float

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    Here are the definitions of "float"
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/float
    Something is wrong. All verb definitions are not related for this situation.

    • transitive verb

    • 1: to place (an issue of securities) on the market
    • 2: to obtain money for the establishment or development of (an enterprise) by issuing and selling securities
    • 3: negotiate 1 float a loan
    • : to rest on the surface of a liquid Cork floats in water.
    • 2: to be carried along by or as if by moving water or air The raft floated downstream.Leaves floated down.
    • 3: to cause to rest on or be carried by water Lumberjacks float logs down the river.
    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: fly v. float

    A flag flies or flutters; float is not a natural collocation for what flags do.

  5. #5
    hhtt21 is offline Key Member
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    Re: fly v. float

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    A flag flies or flutters; float is not a natural collocation for what flags do.
    Yes, the flags does not float but the definition of fly involves to float.

    c: to float, wave, or soar in the air flags flying at half-mast


    This is confusing for me. So I would like to ask again. When a flag flies, does it also float? Or which of the following does it do being related to the definition?

    a) to float
    b) to wave
    c) to soar

    Thank you.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Re: fly v. float

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    When a flag flies, does it also float?
    In post #4, Rover wrote "float is not a natural collocation for what flags do". Having read that, why would you ask it again?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. #7
    hhtt21 is offline Key Member
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    Re: fly v. float

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In post #4, Rover wrote "float is not a natural collocation for what flags do". Having read that, why would you ask it again?
    Well, I will try to explain. Yes, a flag flies. But that meaning of fly means "c: to float, wave, or soar in the air flags flying at half-mast"

    Because the definition of fly in this sense contains a) to float b) to wave c) to soar this makes me think that when a flag flies, it should also do three of these.

    Is it O.K? It is not important to be natural. I am just asking that which of them a flag do.

    Thank you.

  8. #8
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: fly v. float

    You took the definition too literally. "A flag flying" may look like it is "floating" but they are not substitutes. That's why in post 2 I posted the definitions of "float" so you could draw the conclusions yourself.
    Last edited by teechar; 22-Aug-2017 at 23:24.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: fly v. float

    A flag is attached to the flagpole, so it doesn't really float. It may appear to do so in the breeze, but its movements are too restricted to say that it truly floats, and its movements don't really resemble those of an object on the surface of a liquid.

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: fly v. float

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    It is not important to be natural.
    You'll be disappointed with many of our comments and corrections if you believe that that is true. It is important to learn not just what is grammatically correct but also what is natural.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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