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On facebook there is a post that says:

The German Chancellor has called for a full-face veil ban in Germany.

In a comment, someone said:

Yes i agree. Ms Merkel, Germany has been a beacon to help refugees but why should it have German values eroded because of the good will the Germans have shown.

Now, is it correct to say why should it have German Values .... ? (Why not has since it is a singular noun ?)

And how can we rewrite this sentence without this structure?

Thank you

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  • "It have" is correct. When should/shall helps a verb, the verb should be infinitive.
    – user178049
    Dec 10, 2016 at 3:16
  • Oh, I missed something. Since it's not a question, you'd better write "why it should have.."
    – user178049
    Dec 10, 2016 at 4:05
  • I would prefer "... but why should it have eroded German values because of the good will the Germans have shown." because values is the object of eroded, this would be more straightforward. As you wrote the example, have is not the right verb to use, because a ban can cause something but can't have something.
    – user3169
    Dec 10, 2016 at 7:04

1 Answer 1

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"(Germany has been a beacon to help refugees) but why should it have German values eroded because of the good will the Germans have shown."

  1. The first segment of the sentence is an independent clause -- it can stand alone, i.e. be a complete sentence.
  2. If the clause is removed, it becomes clear that the ending punctuation should be a question mark. The sentence is a question and not a statement.

The "it" is problematic because of the distance from the antecedent -- Germany. And as the questioner points out, "Germany has values" while "Germans have values" even though "have" happens to be correct is this case because it IS a question and not a statement.

So it can be correctly rewritten either, "Why should Germany have its values eroded...?" or "Why should Germans have their values eroded...?"

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