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Session 25

Humans talk, dogs bark, cats mark their scent, but how can plants communicate? Listen Here to find out!
ਬੰਦੇ ਆਪਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ, ਕੁੱਤੇ ਬਿੱਲੀਆਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਵੀ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਆਵਾਜ਼ਾ ਹਨ, ਪਰ ਪੌਦੇ ਆਪਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਗੱਲ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ? ਪਤਾ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਸੁਣੋ। 

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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.
ਅੱਜ ਦੇ ਐਪੀਸੋਡ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਸੀਂ ਸਮਝਾਂਗੇ, ਪੌਦੇ ਆਪਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ।

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! Welcome to Listen Here! ਮੇਰਾ ਨਾਮ ਰਾਜਵੀਰ ਹੈ ਇਸ ਪ੍ਰੋਗਰਾਮ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਸੀਂ ਖ਼ਬਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਸਮਝਣ ਵਿੱਚ ਤੁਹਾਡੀ ਮਦਦ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਾਂ।

I'm Rob.

And I'm James.

ਕੀ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਲੱਗਦਾ ਕੀ ਬੋਲ ਕੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਸਾਂਝੇ ਕਰ ਸਕਣਾ ਸਾਡੇ ਲਈ ਇੱਕ ਖ਼ਾਸ ਤੌਹਫ਼ਾ ਹੈ?

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!

ਅੱਜ ਅਸੀਂ ਸਮਝਾਂਗੇ ਕਿ ਵਿਗਿਆਨੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਇਹ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਪਤਾ ਲਗਾਇਆ ਕਿ ਪੌਦੇ ਆਪਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਪਹਿਲਾ ਕਲਿੱਪ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਹਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਜਾਣਨ ਦੀ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕਰੋ ਵਿਗਿਆਨੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਕੀ ਚਾਹੁੰਦੇ ਹਨ ਕਿ ਪੌਦੇ ਆਪਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਇੱਕ ਦੂਜੇ ਨੂੰ ਕੀ ਸੁਨੇਹਾ ਦੇਣ?

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?

ਤਾਂ ਵਿਗਿਆਨੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਪੌਦੇ ਅਲੱਗ ਅਲੱਗ ਗ਼ਮਲਿਆਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਪਾਏ ਪਰ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਜੜ੍ਹਾਂ ਇਕੱਠੀਆਂ ਰਹਿਣ ਦਿੱਤੀਆਂ। ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੇ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਪੌਦੇ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਪਾਣੀ ਕੱਢ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਇਹ ਜਾਣਨ ਦੀ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ ਕੀਤੀ ਕਿ ਕੀ ਬਾਕੀ ਪੌਦਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝ ਆਉਂਦੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਪਾਣੀ ਦੀ ਕਮੀ ਹੈ।

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.

ਨਾਂਵ ਦੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਿੱਚ 'pot' ਦਾ ਅਰਥ ਹੈ ਗ਼ਮਲਾ ਅਤੇ ਕਿਰਿਆ ਦੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਿੱਚ 'to pot' ਦਾ ਅਰਥ ਹੈ ਕੁਝ ਪਕਾਉਣਾ।

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.

ਇਸ ਹਿੱਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਦੁਬਾਰਾ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਹਾਂ, ਬਈ ਨੂੰ 'break' ਨੂੰ ਕਿਰਿਆ ਵਜੋਂ ਕਿਸੇ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਇਸਤੇਮਾਲ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ?

…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.

ਕਿਸੇ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੇ ਅਰਥ ਉਲਟਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਅਸੀਂ ਉਸ ਦੇ ਮੁਹਰੇ ਅਗੇਤਰ ਲਗਾਉਂਦੇ ਹਾਂ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਕਿun, in, dis ਜਾਂ ਫ਼ਿਰ mis. ਚਲੋ ਅਗਾਂਹ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਹਾਂ ਕਿ ਵਿਗਿਆਨੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਤਜ਼ਰਬਿਆਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਕੀ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਪਤਾ ਲੱਗਿਆ ਕਿ ਪੌਦੇ ਆਪਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਸੁਨੇਹਾ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਦਿੱਦੇ ਹਨ?

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.

ਤਾਂ ਪੌਦਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਾਣੀ ਦੀ ਕਮੀ ਦਾ ਸੁਨੇਹਾ ਮਿਲ ਗਿਆ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੇ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਲਿਆ ਪਾਣੀ ਬਚਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਆਪਣੇ 'pores' ਬੰਦ ਕਰ ਲਏ।

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! And thanks to you for joining us for this episode of Listen Here! Bye everyone.

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 → 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 → entertainment
invest → investment

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

inform → information
available → availability
happy→ 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 → unhappy
fasten → unfasten

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

understand → misunderstand
agree → disagree
ability → inability
legal → illegal
responsible → irresponsible
polite → impolite

How can plants communicate?

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
ਸਹੀ ਜੁਆਬ ਚੁਣੋ।

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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 Here ਦੀ ਅਗਲੀ ਕੜੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਾਡੇ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜੋ , ਜਿਥੇ ਅਸੀਂ ਸਿਖਾਂਗੇ ਹੋਰ ਵਰਤੋਂਯੋਗ ਇੰਗਲਿਸ਼ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਅਤੇ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਸੁਣਨ ਦੇ ਹੁਨਰ ਦਾ ਅਭਿਆਸ ਕਰਵਾਵਾਂਗੇ।

Session Vocabulary

  • a pot (noun)


    ਨ ਟੁੱਟਣ ਵਾਲਾ


    domino effect
    ਡੋਮੀਨੋ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ



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