[details=“English Translation”]You should try to live within your means.[/details] Is “capacità” the correct word here? I’ve looked in two dictionaries and it’s defined as capacity, capability, or ability. On the English side of the dictionary, the word for “means” as in personal resources is “mezzi.” So, “Dovreste provare a vivere secondo dei propri mezzi.”
Hi. Interestingly another translation I have is “…secondo le tue possibilità”. Aspettiamo un madrelingua;-)
DeepL has this: Dovete cercare di vivere nei limiti delle vostre possibilità
And this is given as an alternate: “Dovete cercare di vivere tra i vostri mezzi.” If you translate the Italian phrase, you get, “You should try to live within your capabilities.” which implies one can live beyond their capabilities, which is a contradiction in terms.
I like bill’s idea to translate “within” with “nei limiti”.
The end of the sentence is as so often depending on context.
Most of the time you will use the expression in a pure economic way. Then “reddito” would be another possibilty.
In some occasions you might want to say something very different.
I could e.g. advise a student to stop studying because it is beyond his of her intellectual capabilities. Then “capacità” wouldn’t be wrong, would it?
Another way to convey the concept of within would be to say:
Dovreste provare di vivere entro i vostri mezzi.
OOI, from our club’s madrelingua, without context she favours “secondo le tue possibilità”, che è un termine più generico per indicare “quello di cui puoi disporre/quello che possiedi”. ‘Capacità’ is for personal attributes and capabilities whereas “mezzi” refers more to available finance.
The most idiomatic way to say this is “dovreste provare a vivere secondo i vostri mezzi”.