I would like to seek clarification on this sentence.

The children are happily playing.

Is it grammatically correct? Or should there be a place as an object to follow?

  • Why don't you think it's correct? What made you think this? Generally on ELL you should include what research you have done, or material that's made you ask the question. – LMS Jan 22 '17 at 15:28
  • 2
    For me, happily playing sounds more awkward than playing happily. Both are perfectly correct. Personally I would say, playing happily and perhaps not even notice that another person used happily playing. – WRX Jan 22 '17 at 16:33
  • @LMS, it's mentioned in the question: "Or should there be a place as an object to follow?". Shouldn't that be enough? – Fayaz Jan 22 '17 at 17:22
  • @fayazmiraz: There's no "why" (or "what") mentioned in the question, just an alternative that the asker thinks might be better. Why do they think this is better? Why do they think their original sentence is wrong? We don't know. – LMS Jan 22 '17 at 19:10

There is nothing wrong in that sentence:

The children are happily playing.

  1. The article is used to specify a group of children. It's fine.

  2. are is used as be verb, since children is plural and the verb playing is in present continuous form. So that part is OK too.

  3. Adverb happily is used to modify the verb playing, which is fine.

Now, the question is:

Is there a necessity for an object for the verb playing?

The answer is:

No, the verb play does not always require an object to complete the meaning of the sentence.

You could've said, for example:

The children are happily playing football.

However, merely mentioning that they are playing also makes complete sense. So there is nothing wrong with the sentence.

On another note: Even though saying happily playing is grammatically correct, saying playing happily is used more often. For example, if you look at Google Ngrams, you'll see that both were used by the authors, but playing happily was used more frequently:

happily playing vs. playing happily

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