I have read the following sentence:

La metà della popolazione ha a che fare con la povertà.

I know "avere a che fare" has 2 distinct meanings:

  • to have sth to do (= to be related to)
  • to deal with

However, I am not sure if the sentence above means that half of the population deals with poverty in its everyday life (e.g., seeing beggars in the street, seeing people sleeping under viaducts, etc) or that half of the population is poor. Could someone please make it clear?

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    It's a lot more likely that the intended meaning is the second one, but it is context dependent, so it would be better if you could give some of the surrounding sentences.
    – Denis Nardin
    Sep 23, 2019 at 18:18
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    I also agree that the meaning could be the second one you wrote, but more than half of the population is poor I think that the meaning is that half the population have to deal with the fact that they are becoming poor or at risk of becoming poor. Sep 23, 2019 at 19:44
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    As an Italian, I wouldn't be sure of the meaning of this sentence without knowing its context. It literally just says that half the population is in some relation with poverty.
    – DaG
    Sep 23, 2019 at 21:47
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    Unfortunately, I don't have the context because the sentence was provided as it is in an Italian language learning tool. Anyway, what I wanted to know was the possible interpretations and the most usual one and you guys have already discussed that. Thanks! Sep 24, 2019 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


It means that half of the population deals with poverty in everyday life. You could also translate it with

Half of the population is affected by poverty

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