My family loves going to the beach each summer.

I think "loves",but someone said "loves going to beach" is the verb phrase.

So what's correct and how???

  • 1
    There is a standard definition of verb phrase in linguistics, but ESL teachers don't always follow the same terminology.
    – Stuart F
    Jul 20 at 14:32
  • I’m voting to close this question because it looks like meaningless nit-picking over terminology. This is especially confusing for learners, who may well end up thinking this question has something to do with phrasal verbs (which it doesn't). Jul 20 at 14:38

1 Answer 1


In a sentence like "my family go to the beach", the verb phrase is just the words "go to". Your family are the subject, and 'the beach' is the object of the verb phrase.

However, because you have an additional verb, 'loves', the entire phrase "going to the beach" is a phrase, and the object of that independent verb.

  • That's not what Wikipedia says: "In linguistics, a verb phrase (VP) is a syntactic unit composed of a verb and its arguments except the subject of an independent clause or coordinate clause."
    – Stuart F
    Jul 20 at 14:30
  • Verb phrases include objects of the verb
    – gotube
    Jul 20 at 21:58
  • @gotube Incorrect. According to Cambridge, "a verb phrase consists of a main verb alone, or a main verb plus any modal and/or auxiliary verbs". Read my answer again. I've explained that this example is different because of the two verbs.
    – Astralbee
    Jul 21 at 16:57
  • @Astralbee That's a very narrow, traditional definition, and not universally held at all. It's also not what ESL materials teach, so it's not useful for English learners. Cambridge's definition is mentioned in the Wikipedia article that Stuart F linked to.
    – gotube
    Jul 21 at 17:24
  • @Astralbee And if you want an authoritative ESL primary source, there's few better than British Council
    – gotube
    Jul 21 at 17:27

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