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Consider these sentences:

They are good.
They are working.
They are eating lunch.

In first sentence are is a linking verb, and good is an adjective; so it has the form S+V+C (Subject + Verb + Complement).

I have a difficulty figuring out the roles of are and working in the second sentence. Clearly working is not an adjective nor is it a noun, so it cannot be a subject complement. Any help?

I think the last sentence is pretty straightforward. Here are is helping verb, eating is the main verb, and lunch is the object; so it has the form S + V + O (Subject + Verb + Object).

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    Isn't it simply S+ V? – Tushar Raj Dec 23 '18 at 18:09
  • Oh, like She went ? – rsadhvika Dec 23 '18 at 18:10
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    I should think so. – Tushar Raj Dec 23 '18 at 18:11
  • And, They worked or They relaxed - in these, the subject itself is receiving the action. I think I get it. Thank you again:) You're awesome! – rsadhvika Dec 23 '18 at 18:12
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    "They are working" is ordinary intransitive (S-V) progressive aspect, (cf. the non-progressive equivalent "They work". "They are eating lunch" is ordinary monotransitive (S-V-Od), again in the progressive aspect. In the last two examples the matrix verb is "be" and what follows it is its complement. – BillJ Dec 23 '18 at 18:42
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They are working.

Are is an auxiliary verb. Working is also a verb -- a present participle. There are no objects, complements or adverbials involved.

The structure would be S + V.

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    @rsadhvika: Please read Sir Lawler's remark above. This is the best answer you'll get. – Tushar Raj Dec 23 '18 at 18:36
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    (it's below now) Well, if we're specifying structures, it's actually Su + VP, and VP is AuxVb + ActVb-ing (those two structures together are called the "progressive construction", btw). AuxVb and ActVb are types of V (for that matter, Su is a type of NP) that behave differently. Only AuxVbs can invert with the subject in questions, for instance: Are they working? but not *Work they?. Every form of be (including are) is always AuxVb; some, but not all, uses of have and do are AuxVb, as are all uses of modal auxiliary verbs. – John Lawler Dec 23 '18 at 18:41

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