First of all, I think it is worthwhile to mention that "What is nanny state?" Well, nanny state is a conservative term that conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective. The term "nanny state" likens government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing, but she's not very generous, _______ money for their compassionate service, levying taxes and fines for these mandatory services and unconventional laws.

Is it possible and idiomatic to use a verb+ing in the blank? (E.G. receiving, charging, collecting etc)

Are the mentioned verbs appropriate for this situation?

I used the word she to refer to the government. Is it possible to use their instead of her? If it's impossible, is it idiomatic to use her?

  • This is your writing and you are looking for a word? With what meaning exactly? I think your thing is sarcastic, right? [...] charges money for her compassionate service by levying taxes and fines etc. – Lambie Oct 4 '18 at 15:18
  • @Lambie Yes, with this meaning "There are some unconventional (or silly) laws. (E.G. Saggy-pants law, or for example keeping trash in your car is illegal in South Carolina etc) and some of them, some of these laws or actually some of these limitaions are restricting our personal choice, I mean: Do we really want the government taking charge of public behaviour, even "for our own good"? Is this really fitting for a country of free citizens?"Therefore it's not sarcastic, no. – AmirhoseinRiazi Oct 4 '18 at 15:31

With regards to verbs, it is appropriate to use the present participle form (verb+ing, used as a verb) of a verb in this context.

As for which verb to use, that is dependent on what you want to say. Normally, the context you have provided would be a good start, but since this a political topic (see the mass of comments under your question) people can have very different views on what the answer should be. If I had to choose, I would personally recommend "charging" but honestly, I think that sentence should be rewritten, and possibly broken up into multiple sentences.

With regards to pronoun usage: It and they are the basic pronouns( which can be conjugated to fit the sentence, so its and their can be used) you should use, when using it to refer to the government as a single entity and a collective of persons, respectively.

He/she (and conjugates) should only be used poetically to refer to a government, and generally when referring to a country as a whole, as opposed to its ruling mechanism, e.g. "Britain and her dominions" vs. "British Parliament and its policies", although "it" could also be used. It is a common trope to anthropomorphism a country, e.g. Uncle Sam, John Bull, etc., in which case the appropriate gendered pronoun should be used.

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