If you’ve ever come across the phrase vice versa but had no idea what it meant, or even used the phrase because you’ve heard it from others, wonder no more.
Below you’ll find a full explanation of this frequently misused Latin phrase, along with examples and synonyms so you can write and speak confidently.
Vice Versa Meaning
Vice versa originated from Latin and literally means “the other way around.”
The “vice” in vice versa has nothing to do with the moral faults that you might think of when you hear the word. Instead, this “vice” comes from the Latin vicis, which means “a change” or “succession,” but it can also refer to a place or position.
“Versa,” on the other hand, comes from the Latin versus, which means “to turn.” Therefore, by combining vice + versa, you get a phrase that means “position turned.”
Vice versa should be used as an adverb, and it’s often preceded by “and” or “or.” The term never needs to be hyphenated, and although it’s a Latin term, it doesn’t need to be italicized, as many foreign words are in writing.
Vice Versa in a Sentence
Below are several examples of vice versa in a sentence:
- You can catch a quick train from Milan to Genoa, or vice versa.
- As an actress, she can feel happy but still look sad, and vice versa.
- The women can bring their husbands along, and vice versa.
- Should I come to your place, or vice versa?
- She doesn’t trust him, and vice versa.
- Do dogs look like their owners, or is it vice versa?
Synonyms for Vice Versa
If you’re in need of a word or another phrase to replace vice versa, you might try one of the following synonyms:
- The other way around
Vice Versa Pronunciation
In English, the standard pronunciation of vice versa is vise ver-suh (vice should rhyme with nice).
It’s also commonly pronounced with 4 syllables as vise-uh-ver-suh. However, if you come across vice a versa, note that this is a phonetic spelling, and not how the word is spelled in the dictionary.
Vice Versa and Other Latin Phrases
Still tripped up by Latin phrases borrowed by English? Take some time to review the proper use of vice versa as explained above and study other common phrases like et al and et cetera (etc) to make your writing more effective and error-free.
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