1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "What is flying in the sky?"

"What is flying in the sky?"


June 11, 2017


Sorted by top post


I think word order shouldn't matter. I believe that in fact, both 空に何が飛んでいますか and 何が空に飛んでいますか are correct given that the particles are used correctly...

June 11, 2017


That's the problem, word order isn't consistent in the examples, but the quiz only accepts one or two outcomes for a given question.

June 25, 2017


That's true, but idk if the sentence is correct since movement verbs take a direct object (e.g. 空を飛ぶ)

June 13, 2017


Why isnt it sora-de since there is an action taking place, knstead of sora-ni

August 2, 2017


[rephrasing my old answer to hopefully make this clearer]

In this case "the sky" is not a space in which the action takes place. Instead, it is the location where something is, like a backdrop.

Although "flying" describes an action, note that the verb is not the simple infinitive 飛びます(とびます)"to fly" but とんでいます(飛んで居ます)"to be flying". It doesn't really refer to the action [of flying] but to the state of being [in flight]. Hence the use of a more static location particle.

August 3, 2017


I must admit the difference makes no sense to me.

August 25, 2017


me neither. I thought you would use に if you were flying to the sky, as if you left the ground and moving up

July 12, 2019


And I thought you would use を

August 9, 2019


If "ni" is used as a direction particle (go "to" a place, for instance), how can it be more static than "de" which is used for actions within a particular space? To me, "de" should be used in this context 100%, I completely don't see the point of "ni"...

December 20, 2018


If I understood what you said, that means that for the sentence "A bird flies in the sky", if you use the ます form: 飛びます (flies) or simple form: 飛ぶ then the common usage in japanese is to use を instead of で because most of the time the bird does not stand in the sky but is moving throught the sky and thus "鳥は空を飛びます". But, if you use the ~て-います (or ~て-いる) form: "飛んでいます" (is flying) then the particule should be に in all cases and thus "鳥は空に飛んでいます" because it means existing in the sky. Is that correct? Could you give references to that, because as far as i searched in books and internet i did not get this simple explanation (maybe I did not understand or missed it), or may a native japanese confirm it.

Hum... and what about "A helicopter flies in the sky" supposing the context that it is not moving???

August 22, 2019


I don't know the answer in Japanese but in English it should be "a helicopter", not "an".

August 23, 2019


You're right, I have corrected, Thanks a lot.

August 23, 2019


I have the same question. In fact, in the comment section of the previous question i got (とりはそらをとびます or birds fly in the sky) just explained that you wouldnt use に instead of を because it would be saying that birds fly towards the sky... so idk

May 26, 2018


In the sentence 鳥は空を飛びます(とりはそらをとびます)or "birds fly in the sky", the sky gets treated as the direct object of the verb.

You can compare it to the English "to walk the streets" or "to sail the seas". In the practical sense this refers to the place where you're walking/sailing, but grammatically the location actually 'undergoes' your action: the streets are being walked [by you]. More obvious examples of this construction would be verbs like "to cross the street", or "to explore the area".

This also happens in Japanese (e.g. 道を歩く(みちをあるく)= "to walk the streets"), where same construction can be used for "flying the skies".

May 28, 2018


So, why is Duolingo not offering を here?

January 17, 2019


何がそらにとんでいますか also works

April 15, 2018


It's a bird! It's a plane! It's ...

July 7, 2017


A bad joke.

August 16, 2017


Didn't we say that the particle for flying in the sky is "を"?

March 18, 2019


But when it's a plane, it's そらをとんで ...why the difference in particle?

April 28, 2019


More complex and technically should be correct but isn't (と思う): 空を飛んでいることは何ですか。(T3T)

August 6, 2019


No で was available. How do we supply it?

April 7, 2018


You can switch to keyboard mode and type in Japanese directly if your device is capable of doing so, but in this case the sentence is using に, not で.

August 8, 2018


The question is why.

December 20, 2018


Is 空は何が飛んでいますか wrong?

July 15, 2018


Does it seem that 飛ぶ(とぶ)has two te-forms? What's the difference between 飛んで(とんで) and 飛びて(とびて)?

January 13, 2018


...The latter is not the the て-form of the word. The former is.

January 30, 2018


why cant i switch why and fly, while keeping the practicles where they are?

November 1, 2018
Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.