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Session 25

Humans talk, dogs bark, cats mark their scent, but how can plants communicate? Listen Here to find out!
मनुष्य बोलतो, कुत्रे भुंकतात, मांजरी आपला गंध सोडतात , पण वनस्पती संभाषण कसं साधतात? चला जाणून घेऊ. 

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

How can plants communicate?

In this episode of Listen Here we look at how plants can communicate information to each other.
वनस्पती एकमेकांशी कसं संभाषण करतात माहितीये? चला आजच्या भागात जाणून घेऊ.

Before you listen/Pre-listening

Consider the following questions:

  • How do you communicate with other people?
  • How do you think plants might be able to send messages to each other?

Listen to the audio and take the quiz.

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello! ऐकलंत का? Listen Here! मध्ये तुमचं स्वागत. मी तेजाली आणि माझ्यासोबत आहे रॉब आणि जेम्स.

I'm Rob.

And I'm James.

तुला काय वाटत जेम्स, संभाषण फक्त माणसंच करतात का?

No – of course not! Animals communicate in different ways too – cats and dogs use their scent to send a message for example.

That's true – and I suppose the different noises animals make can have meaning. But really, I suppose it's only humans who communicate through speech.


Well, what if I told you that plants could communicate?

Rob & James

There's no way that could be true!

अरे हो! झाडंही गप्पा मारतात, संभाषण करतात. शास्त्रज्ञांनी याचा शोध कसा लावला, ते आज आपण जाणून घेणार आहोत. झाडं एकमेकांना काय संदेश देत असतील? काय सांगतायत हे शास्त्रज्ञ?   

They took plants, they reduced their roots to two each and they potted them up in a way that meant that each plant had one root in one pot and the other root in a next pot and this was shared by the first root of the next plant and so on, creating an unbroken chain of plants connected by their roots up to five plants long.
Then, what scientists did was that they exposed the first root of the first plant to drought. So the question was: do plants pass the message on about drought?

शास्त्रज्ञांनी वेगवेगळ्या कुंड्यांमध्ये रोपं लावली आणि त्यांची मूळं एकमेकांना जोडली. नंतर त्यांनी पहिल्या कुंडीतली माती पूर्ण कोरडी केली. त्यांची अशी अपेक्षा होती की इतर रोपांनांही, पहिल्या कुंडीत पाणी नाही याची जाणीव होईल.  

The speaker said 'roots' – this is the part of a plant that is underground.

He also said 'drought' – which means there is no water.

Did you notice the word 'pot'? It was used in two different ways. Let's listen again – what are the different forms of the words?

They took plants, they reduced their roots to two each and they potted them up in a way that meant that each plant had one root in one pot and the other root in a next pot.

The speaker said 'potted', a verb, and 'pot', a noun.

'Pot' हे नाम असेल तर त्याचा अर्थ होतो कुंडी. 'To pot'  म्हणजे क्रियापद ज्याचा अर्थ होतो म्हणजे कुंडीत रोप लावणे.

This is an example of a word that can be both a verb or a noun without any changes. However, many words do change to become a different word form.


हे परत एकदा ऐका. 'Break' म्हणजे तुटणे हे क्रियापद कसं वापरलंय?

…creating an unbroken chain of plants.

The speaker used the opposite of the adjective broken, 'unbroken'. To make it negative, the speaker added un- at the beginning. Un- is the most common negative prefix in English, but not the only one.

शब्दाचा विरुद्धार्थी शब्द बनवायला शब्दाच्या आधी un, in, dis किंवा  mis हे prefix  वापरतात. शास्त्रज्ञ त्यांच्या प्रयोगाबद्दल अजून काय काय सांगतायत बर? रोपांनी संदेशवहन केलं हे त्यांना असं लक्षात आलं? .

We have shown, for the first time, that this information is not only passed to the immediate neighbour, but it can be relayed like in a domino effect.
And the scientists could measure that this message was communicated as the recipient plants closed the pores in their leaves to reduce water loss.

पाणी कमी प्रमाणात बाहेर पडावं यासाठी रोपांनी त्यांची रंध्र मिटून घेतली. यातून, त्यांना दुष्काळाचा संदेश मिळाला हे स्पष्ट होतं. रंध्र म्हणजे pores.

That is incredible – plants can communicate by their roots! I like one of the speaker's phrases – listen again.

It can be relayed like in a domino effect.

'A domino effect' is when one event causes another event, and then another and then another. There were some more examples of word building in this insert too. Listen again – what form of the verb 'receive' does the speaker use?

And the scientists could measure that this message was communicated as the recipient plants closed the pores in their leaves to reduce water loss.

He said 'recipient'. This is the noun form of the verb 'receive', it means the person or thing that receives.

Did you hear his pronunciation of 'that' in the insert? Let's listen one more time.

…and the scientists could measure that this message was communicated.

He said 'that' a short form of 'that' – in fast, connected speech we shorten the word. Could you demonstrate that for us please, Rob?

Sure – listen and repeat after me.
measure that
measure that this message
Scientists could measure that this message was communicated.

Thanks Rob! आज इथेच थांबू. पुन्हा भेटू Listen Here! च्या पुढच्या भागात. Bye Bye.

Listen to today’s clip in full here

Source: How can plants communicate?

Language features


Many words in English have different forms. We can often change a noun to an adjective or a verb to a noun, for example.

This is done by changing the end of the word. These word endings, or ‘suffixes’, are different depending on the type of word. Look at this example.

measure à measurement

Here the verb ‘measure’ has been changed to the noun ‘measurement’ – we know that measurement is a noun because of its suffix, -ment. Here are some other examples.

entertain à entertainment
invest à investment

Some other noun suffixes are -tion, -ity and -ness.

inform à information
available à availability
happy à happiness


We can also change words to mean the opposite by adding letters to the beginning of a word, called ‘prefixes’.

The most common prefix to change the meaning of the word to its opposite is un-. For example:

happy à unhappy
fasten à unfasten

Some other negative prefixes are mis-, dis-, in-, il-, ir- and im-. Here are some examples.

understand à misunderstand
agree à disagree
ability àinability
legal à illegal

responsible à irresponsible
polite à impolite

How can plants communicate?

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
योग्य उत्तर निवडा. 

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Join us for our next episode of Listen Here! when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
Listen Hereचे पुढचा भाग नक्की बघा. तुम्ही आणखी उपयुक्त शब्द शिकाल आणि तुमच्या श्रवण कौशल्याचा सरावही होईल अशा विषयांवर बोलणार आहोत.

Session Grammar





Session Vocabulary

  • to pot (verb)
    to pot (verb)

    a pot (noun)
    भांडे (noun)

    झाडाचे मूळ

    न तुटलेलं


    domino effect
    साखळी परिणाम, एकामागोमाग एक घटना घडणे 





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