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.

December 30, 2015
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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...

January 4, 2016

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

December 30, 2015

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

December 30, 2015

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

December 30, 2015

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).

December 31, 2015

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" ;)

December 30, 2015

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.

January 4, 2016
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