flying /the flying/ the flight

Xander2024

Senior Member
Russian
Hello everyone,

could a native speaker please tell me which of the following sentences would be correct to use:

- Was it the first time you had flown in a plane?
- Yes. But to tell the truth, I didn't like flying / the flying / the flight.

What puzzles me is that "...didn't like flying" sounds like the person is speaking about travelling by air in general. As for "the flying", I doubt it sounds idiomatic at all. Maybe the use of "flight" is understandable enough if I mean to say that it is the act/ process of flying that the person didn't like and not the timetabled journey made by an airline? :confused:

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Flying in a plane" is the context set by the question. The direct answer would be "I didn't like it." where it refers back to "flying in a plane".
    "I didn't like flying." You didn't do any flying; the pilot and the plane did the flying. ;)
    "I didn't like the flying." A little odd. The taxiing on the runway, taking off, landing, and being served drinks was okay, but the actual flying part was bad.
    "I didn't like the flight." As you say, this means "I didn't like National Airways Flight 781 from Atlanta to Boston."
     

    Xander2024

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Yes, I do understand that the most natural way to answer the question would be "I didn't like it". But if we were to answer it without using the "it'? For example, "I liked the trip on the whole, the only thing that I didn't like was flying(?) / the flight(?)".

    Thank you.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I agree with Myridon's second and third, both being strange things to say. But 'flying' is the general experience. I don't like flying - I don't like the cramped seats or the fear of crashing or the interminable queues, etc. If I'd never experienced it before, I can report on the basis of my first time that I don't like flying: I'm predicting that I won't like it if I do it in the future, either. It wasn't just that one flight.

    'The flight' is appropriate for part of a larger process of travelling: the taxi ride to the airport was smooth, the two hours on an underground train at the other end was okay, the airport was attractive and interesting, but the flight was awful. 'The flight' can be used to include the queuing in the airport. 'The flying' is more narrowly part of the process: it is as opposed to taxiing, and sitting on the tarmac waiting for the doors to end. Flying is done strictly in the air.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The experience of flying. This covers the feelings, and how things appeared (tiny little cars down there!), and what happens.
     
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