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Prendere and Riprendere

In a previous lesson we talked about beccare which in colloquial speech is often used in place of prendere (to take, to catch, to get, to have): For instances of prendere see this lesson as well as Yabla videos. But let’s focus on a variation of prendereriprendere (to take up again, to retake, to take back, to film). The same word, meaning two very different things, appears at a distance of just a few lines in the same video.


Ti dispiace se oggi riprendo la nostra seduta?

Do you mind if I film our session today?

-No, mi va bene.

-No, it's OK with me.

-Allora, sei a tuo agio?

-So, are you at ease?

-Sì. Riprendiamo da dove eravamo rimasti l'ultima volta.

-Yes. -Let's take up where we left off last time.

Captions 1-5, Fabri Fibra - In Italia ft. Gianna Nannini

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In the first instance we’re talking about filming or shooting: riprendere. It’s also common to use the noun form of riprendere: ripresaFare una ripresa is “to make a video/film recording” or “to shoot.” So una ripresa is “a shot.” And you might easily jump to the conclusion that “to take a picture” in Italian would be prendere una foto. But no! Sbagliato (wrong)! We have to say fare una foto (to make a picture). 

In card playing, prendere is “to draw,” so riprendere in this context means “to draw again!” or “to take again.”


Ora riprendiamo le carte. -Esatto, la riprendo io,

Now we draw cards again. -Exactly, I draw another,

perché sono stata l'ultima, -Bene. -che ha preso.

because I was the last one, -Good. -who took [the cards].

Captions 32-33, Daniela e Francesa - Briscola - Regole del gioco

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If you’re having a second helping, you might say:

Riprendo un po’ di pasta.

I’ll have a second helping of pasta.


To end on a melancholy note, here’s Alice singing to her (ex) boyfriend, who is quite preso da (taken by) another woman, Elisa.


Lei ti lascia e ti riprende come e quando vuole lei

She leaves you and takes you back however and whenever she wants

Caption 13, Alice - Per Elisa

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The simple, clear, and easy-to-relate-to lyrics may not be exactly uplifting, but this ripresa video of a live performance vi prenderà (will get to you).


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