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Nouns and verbs that go together

In Italian, as in other languages, sometimes a verb uses the same root as a noun that's related or vice versa. We don't always know which came first, the verb or the noun, but the good news is that there are plenty of verbs like this and they are pretty easy to learn.


The words we discuss in this lesson originally have to do with plants. So let's learn the Italian word for "plant" right off the bat. It's an easy one. 


Pianta - piantare

La pianta is the noun and piantare is the verb. 

E poi, domenica aveva in progetto di piantare il nuovo vigneto al podere dei Sassi.

And then, Sunday he had planned to plant a new vineyard at the Sassi farm.

Caption 34, Il Commissario Manara S1EP2 - Vendemmia tardiva - Part 1

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Ehm, in questi vasi sono state piantate delle piante molto belle.

Um, in these pots, very beautiful plants have been planted.

Caption 20, In giro per l'Italia Mazara Del Vallo - Sicilia - Part 3

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As we will see with seminare, further on in this lesson, piantare can also be used figuratively. It often means to stop or quit doing something like complaining or lying. It's a strong word to use when you are fed up with how someone is behaving. 

La devi piantare di mentire.

You have to quit lying.

Caption 5, Provaci ancora prof! S1E4 - La mia compagna di banco - Part 21

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In the previous example, the speaker wanted to include the verb dovere (to have to) but otherwise could have just said, Piantala (quit it)! It's as if he wanted to say, "You have to quit it with the lying."


There's more! If you get dropped by a friend or hired help, piantare can be a useful verb.

Pia, la mia colf, mi ha piantato. Dice che non vuole vivere in campagna.

Pia, my nanny, ditched me. She says that she doesn't want to live in the country.

Caption 21, Un medico in famiglia Stagione 1 EP1 - Casa nuova - Part 5

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Seme - seminare

Another noun that goes nicely with its verb is il seme (the seed). 

E poi da questo seme che pianti nasce, come per miracolo, una verdura, un pomodoro, ehm, del peperone.

and then from this seed that you plant, like a miracle, a vegetable, a tomato, uhm, a pepper comes up.

Captions 10-11, Professore Antonio L'orto del Vesuvio

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We often use the verb piantare (to plant), as in the previous example, because it's generic for putting something in the ground, and it can apply to both seeds and plants, but the more accurate word to use, especially when talking about seeds for crops, is seminare (to sow).


The verb is seminare (to sow).

E usiamo i semi. Questa idea mi piace. Eccoli qui, Mirò, sono pronti da seminare.

And we'll use the seeds. I like this idea. Here they are, Mirò. They're ready to plant/sow.

Captions 42-44, Gatto Mirò EP 10 Piantiamo un albero

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In a segment of Provaci ancora, Prof!, Camilla is driving when her daughter, Livietta, sees that a car has been following them for a while. Camilla gives her daughter instructions to tenersi forte (to hold on tight) while she tries to lose the other car. She uses the colloquial term, seminare. Think of someone sowing seeds by tossing them or throwing them. 


Perché c'è una macchina che ci segue, saranno almeno dieci minuti. -Tieniti forte perché cerco di seminarla adesso.

Because there's a car following us, it must be at least ten minutes. -Hold on tight because I'm going to try to lose it now.

Captions 5-7, Provaci ancora prof! S1E3 - Una piccola bestia ferita - Part 20

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And again, in another episode, Camilla is being followed and it is her daughter who notices that. 

Evvai, mamma! Li hai seminati!

Go, Mommy! You lost them!

Caption 66, Provaci ancora prof! S2E4 L'amica americana - Part 19

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A verb related to seminare is disseminare. This is used to mean "to spread out,"  or "to distribute," "to broadcast."

Smembra il cadavere e lo dissemina in punti che sono tutti riconducibili a Lei, signor Romaniello.

He dismembers the corpse and he spreads it around in places that can be traced to you, Mister Romaniello.

Captions 32-33, Imma Tataranni Sostituto procuratore S1EP1 L'estate del dito - Part 27

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Here, too, we can imagine someone holding a basket full of seeds that get sown in the field by tossing them out by the handful, scattering them, broadcasting them, so that they get spread out, they get well-distributed. 


Can you think of other verbs and nouns that go together?


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