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What is "are you" in the question

"Are you going to the beach?"

I thought it might be a verb phrase but when I looked up the definition of this type of phrase in the WJEC A Level English Language terminology glossary it says

"A phrase made up of a single lexical verb, or up to four auxiliaries and a lexical verb"

Examples given along with the definition are:

"follows, was following, should have been following, may have been being followed".

  • "Are you" is auxiliary verb + subject. "Are" is just part of the predicate VP "are going to the beach". – BillJ Oct 3 '17 at 11:29
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Are is the sentence's verb, the head word of the verb phrase are going.

You is the sentence's subject.

The order is V-S instead of S-V because it's a question.

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"be going to" is a pattern or idiom in English language. It means, that something will be done for sure.
"am", "is", "are" - are forms of the verb "to be":
I am (not I be), You/We/They are (not you/we/they be) and He/She/It is (not He/She/It be)
For example:

  • I am going to the beach. -- I strongly intend to go to the beach.
  • She is going to the beach.
  • You are going to the beach.

According to the English rules to form an interrogative question we should situate a main verb at the first place, but after a question word.
In the sentences above the main verbs are: "am", "is", "are".

So, the interrogative questions are:

  • Am I going to the beach?
  • Is she going to the beach?
  • Are you going to the beach?

We use the verb "are" with "you" regardless you address to a single person or to several people.

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Simplified tree diagram:

enter image description here

The clause exhibits subject-auxiliary inversion, as expected in this kind of interrogative construction. The auxiliary verb "are" is treated as a pre-nucleus related to the predicator which is represented by 'gap' in the nucleus clause, with both items cross-referenced with the subscript index i.

This may all seem a bit complex, but the tree is useful for analysing the functions of the subject and auxiliary verb in such interrogatives

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