Noi siamo povere, però siamo felici.

English Translation

We are poor, but we are happy.

Don’t we have to put the words in order like :poveri-felici and povere-felice? What is the meaning of a mixed pairing? I have a suspicion that poveri could be a mix of two genders, but I am not sure how the original sentence works.( Had no idea that you guys were discussing farebbe felice tutti! What a coincidence! Must be something in the air!)

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Perhaps it is "Noi (donne) siamo povere?


Exactly this, it’s a sentence said by a group of just women. So “povero” takes the female plural form “povere”. However, for “felice”, there is no distinction in gender, only in number, so there it would be “felici”, regardless of whether the group consists of only women, men, or a mixture of both. Thus making the whole sentence for a group consisting of only women “povere” but “felici” indeed.

It can be confusing sometimes @barcarolle, but for me it helps to always think of the singular form, e.g. “Un ragazzo felice”, to confirm for yourself whether the adjective changes according to both gender and number, or in number only.


Thank you , sindaco for your response. Can you take a look please at this sentence from ReversoContext : Siamo felice che di avervi dato delle belle emozioni e ci auguriamo di rivedervi presto. We are happy that we have given you some good feelings and we hope to see you soon. So, if siamo felice in this sentence is said by a group of women, is it ok to say that our donne povere are indeed felice? CM does not have siamo felice, but Reveso does.

Felice is singular, so this seems an error.


Indeed, like @Dcarl1 has said, “siamo” would always require the plural form, thus “felici”, regardless of the gender composition of the “we” in question. “felice” would always be singular, regardless of gender, thus it does not match the number required for “siamo” and “siamo felice” is bound to be a typo.

This website gives some examples (but there are probably many more authorative sources to be found too, as well as just the individual entries in for example a dictionary) of the adjectives that do change acording to gender:
allegro, buono, cattivo, freddo, grasso, leggero, nuovo, pieno, stretto, timido
and ones that don’t change according to gender (only between singular and plural):
abile, difficile, felice, forte, grande, importante, intelligente, interessante, triste, veloce

Funnily enough the latter kind also includes maschile and femminile and it’s not even consistent across adjectives of a similar kind, like nationalities, with e.g. “americano”, “tedesco” and “spagnolo” changing according to the corresponding genders, but “francese” and “inglese” not.


Thank you, guys. I can’t help but share this sentence with you I just found : Sono felice che qualcuno sia felice di farmi felice. Thanks again!