1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. kłaść vs. położyć


kłaść vs. położyć


I came across this sentence today in a newspaper:

"Bezmyślność trzech nastolatków. Kładli na torach betonowe słupy i konary"

Why would the author use "kłaść" (imperfective) as opposed to położyć (perfective)? Surely at the time of writing the objects would have been removed from the tracks and this probably was a one-time event.

Cheers, T.

December 30, 2015



I think that is becouse they were cought red-handed. Authors would use "położyć" if they were caught after the reseaches.

  • 1900

There may be at least two reasons for using "kłaść" / "położyć" and hence it was in a newspaper, two more of them:

  • They might have been caught red-handed

  • They might have done this more than once.

You would have to read the article which case may apply. But for a newspaper other possibilities are:

  • The journalist wanted to add some sensation: the verbs in imperfective mood imply some sort of dramaturgy and in tabloid are sometimes used to address more effectively the imagination of reader, even if it actually makes no sense.

  • Many journalists in Poland have very low level of language competences. It is sad, but they are more interested in manipulating the reader than in using proper language...


(I realise this post is 4 years old...)

There is one more thing to it IMHO: there were several posts/logs and the culprits obviously hadn’t put them across the tracks in one go - it must have been one by one, and that’s implicated by the use of „kładli” instead of „położyli”.

Plus of course „kładli” sounds more like a repeated misdemeanor, which is more dramatic and calling for a well deserved punishment.


"kładli" - "They were putting", "Położyli" - "They put" ;)


Thanks for your reply, but I still don't understand why kłaść would be used in this context as opposed to położyć.


It is probably used because they weren't doing it one time. ;)


Right, I understood that sentence as if they did it in several takes (so it took some time), instead of just putting those posts (?) and running away (what "położyli" would suggest).


I think that teenagers were caught while they were putting those things onto the tracks and that's why they used "kładli" instead of "położyli" ;)


Thanks everyone who chimed in, the replies help me a lot. I will also discuss it with my teacher next week just to be on the safe side.

Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.