Braccia, f. or m.

italtrav

Senior Member
English
I'm getting confused. I thought I knew that braccio has both a masculine and feminine plural. On the WF dictionary page here, (slightly past the middle, under the heading Principal Translations/Traduzioni Principali), it lists braccia both as nmpl and nfpl. Is this an error, or could someone please clarify? TIA.

http://www.wordreference.com/iten/braccia#braccia98
 
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  • calau

    Senior Member
    italy italian
    you can have both;
    Braccia is arms
    Bracci can be the ones of a mechanical tool or machine.
    I hope it helps
    PS: when singular you say braccio for both meanings
    EX: Mi fa male il braccio
    Si è rotto il braccio della pala meccanica
     

    italtrav

    Senior Member
    English
    Thanks Calau.
    But the WF dictionary I linked to shows a box with the word braccia appearing on two separate lines. On the first line it indicates braccia as a feminine plural, on the second line it shows braccia as a masculine plural. So I'm still confused.
     

    calau

    Senior Member
    italy italian
    Thanks Calau.
    But the WF dictionary I linked to shows a box with the word braccia appearing on two separate lines. On the first line it indicates braccia as a feminine plural, on the second line it shows braccia as a masculine plural. So I'm still confused.
    when singular the noun is always m.
    When plural, if you mean arms the word id f and the article will be LE;
    if you mean the mechanic or a part of a tool it is m,and the article will be I;
    so:
    Le braccia are the arms
    I bracci are the mechanical parts.
    I hope it's clear enough.
     

    AlabamaBoy

    Senior Member
    American English
    In case that is not clear enough, let me add something.

    If you will notice, the feminine version has a more figurative meaning and the masculine a more literal meaning. Consider legno (wood) and legna (firewood) as another example. There are a number of examples of Italian nouns that have both feminine and masculine forms with different shades of meaning.
     
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    italtrav

    Senior Member
    English
    Thank AB and Calau.
    Let me put the question more directly—is the WF dictionary entry to which I link mistaken? Is it the case that braccia, spelled exactly this way, is ever both the masculine and feminine plural of braccio?
     

    Gianfry

    Senior Member
    Italian
    italtrav is talking about this:

    braccia nfpl arms limb
    braccia nmpl manpower labour

    Yes, there's a mistake. "braccia" meaning "labour" is still feminine.

    Here is the definition of this particular use from the Treccani dictionary:
    Per estens., al plur., lavoratori, persone considerate in relazione al lavoro che possono compiere: terra che ha bisogno di molte b.; le b. rimaste a casa non bastavano più al governo della barca (Verga); come espressione scherz., braccia rubate all’agricoltura, per indicare qualcuno non particolarmente versato nel lavoro intellettuale.
     
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