[Mrs. Bolton enters the gym to find her son and husband busy shooting hoops] ...

Mrs. Bolton: Boys? Did we really fly all this way to play more basketball?

[That transcript is from High School Musical 2006. You may want to watch the video here (about 1 minute) to know the context]

Does 'fly' in that sentence mean to move quickly into the air? By the way, I don't understand that question. What does Mrs. Bolton actually ask about?

closed as too localized by FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, hjpotter92, Dude, Danubian Sailor Mar 31 '13 at 16:03

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    I'm not going to watch the video. Probably they flew to the general area on a passenger aeroplane. Or maybe Mrs. Bolton was speaking figuratively. – FumbleFingers Mar 31 '13 at 3:34
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    I notice that all the people who voted to close this are not American. Are you all saying that you do not use the word "fly" in the sense of "engage in air travel"? Calling the question overly localized because 300 million Americans use the term and nobody else does is a bit of a stretch, but I can maybe see it. But if other people use it too, how does this question meet the criteria stated below? – BobRodes Apr 24 '14 at 22:11

The mother says that it's "the last night of vacation". She and her kids and maybe their father took an airplane from wherever they live to wherever they're vacationing (looks like a ritzy ski resort in the USA), but the two boys are playing basketball, which they can do at home.

So, yes, "fly" means to move through the air, only in an airplane. What she's "asking" about is actually a complaint that can be more properly stated in a declarative sentence: "You two are wasting the money we spent on this vacation by playing basketball here, which you can easily do for free back home" or an imperative: "Stop wasting money by playing basketball here, which you can easily do for free back home!"

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    This is actually a fairly common rhetorical question in U.S. English, although the word "fly" isn't always used. Someone might say, "Did we really come/travel/drive all this way to do X?" to mean, "Let's do something different instead!" More than once on vacation, I've said something like, "Here we are in another town, let's not eat at McDonald's" (or whichever other franchise we may have been considering – presumably, a chain that could be found within 25 miles of our driveway at home), and I may have even worded it like the character in the movie once or twice. – J.R. Mar 31 '13 at 7:28

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