Circa vs Verso – What’s their Meaning and Difference in Italian?

In today’s video we are going to see two quite tricky words: circa and verso. In fact, these two words mislead foreign students because they share the same meaning but in totally different contexts! Stay with us to learn to dominate these two words once and for all!

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How and when to use Circa and Verso

As we mentioned before , circa and verso share a common meaning, that is: “approximately”, but they’re used in very different contexts!

Circa: it can be used to indicate any quantity:  people, objects, hours ecc.

Examples: “Sono circa le 12 meno un quarto!” (It’s like quarter to 12)


Ci sono circa 40 mila persone che seguono questo canale, perché non ti iscrivi anche tu?” (There are about 40 thousand people who follow this channel, why don’t you subscribe too?)

verso: with the meaning of “approximately”, it is used when we talk about an approximate time, which is expressed with any verb that’s not “essere” (to be).

Example: “A che ora ci vediamo stasera? Finisco di fare questo video e ci vediamo ok? Quindi, direi verso le 8 di sera!” (What time are we meeting tonight? I’m finishing making this video and then we will meet, is it fine to you? I’d call around 8 p.m.)

In this vase we use “verso” because we are not sure to complete the preparation of the video precisely  at 8, so we’ve provided an approximate time.



If the verb that precedes the time is essere, then we’ll always use circa.

Examples, for both cases:

Erano circa le 8 quando è arrivato” (It was about 8 when he arrived)


È arrivato verso le 8” (He arrived around 8)

Can you see the difference? The meaning almost the same, but the structure changes. Many foreign students  constantly get confused about this last case, so be very careful!


Let’s see now the other meanings:

circa: can also mean “a proposito di”, “per quanto riguarda”, “rispetto a” (about/ as regards)

Example: “Fu interrogato circa il suo ruolo nella società” (He was questioned about his role in the company)


Moreover, it can be also found in the expression “Circa al (o il) resto” which means “as for the left out topics” per quanto riguarda gli argomenti tralasciati

Example: “Circa al resto, sai già quello che devi fare!” (As for the the rest of it, you already know what to do!)


verso: can be also used

1) Per riferirsi a ciascuno dei membri in cui si articola un testo metrico To refer to each of the elements that compose a metrical text.

Examples: “Versi endecasillabi, versi rimati, versi sciolti…” (hendecasyllables lines, rhyming couplets, blank verse…)


2)  To indicate the cries and sounds of some animals, especially birds.

Examples: “Il verso della colomba, il verso del pettirosso…” (The cry of a dove, the cry of a robin…)


3) To indicate the side, the face of an object.

Example: “Questo è un verso e questo è l’altro!” (This is a side and that’s the other one)


4) To refer to the way, the manner to achieve a goal.

Example: “Per quanto mi sforzi, non riesco a trovare il verso di far capire il congiuntivo ai miei studenti!” (No matter how hard I try, there’s no way to make my students understand the subjunctive)

Of course we’re kidding, because we made a complete video-course on Italian subjunctive we strongly suggest you to watch.


5)  To indicate a direction

Example: “Vado verso la telecamera” (I’m going towards the camera)


6) As synonym for “contro” (towards/at)

Example: “Scagliarsi verso il nemico” (Lashing out at the enemy)


7) With the meaning of  “nei confronti di”, “nei riguardi di” (towards/ with regard to)

Example: “Bisogna essere solidali verso chi soffre” (You need to be supportive towards those who suffer)


Now if you’re not too tired, we suggest you to take a look at the video about the greatest mysteries of Italian language. We assure you that it  is really interesting!

Furthermore, visit our e-shop LearnAmo Collection, if you want to buy a lot of amazing items, like the shirt Graziana is wearing in the video!


Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!


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