Where is the error in the following line?

He advised me to do as he said but I didn't pay any attention to his advice.

I am confused what is the error here or even error been there or not? As far as my grammatical knowledge say that if there are two instances of the past then 'past perfect' will be used in first instance and simple past in 2nd.

  • 2
    Missing comma at the most. – mplungjan Apr 30 '18 at 11:59
  • Your grammatical knowledge is incomplete. If there are two instances of the past, they are presented in chronological order, and it's quite clear which one came before the other, there is absolutely no need to put a had before the first one. – Peter Shor Apr 30 '18 at 13:01
  • 2
    I disagree that the question is about proofreading. You showed that you have some understanding of the past perfect, you also correctly identified that piece of grammar. If you are interested in reopening the question, please edit and provide DETAILS. For example, where did you find this sentence? Was it in an English language text book? What is the title of the book? Did you write the sentence yourself and someone told you it was wrong? Did you find the "answer" but didn't understand why it was marked as an error? Does my own answer confuse or not convince you? Explain "why". – Mari-Lou A May 1 '18 at 6:08

You need to sort out the chronological order of events.

  1. He told me something (e.g. he imparted some words of wisdom).

What happened after?

  1. He advised me to follow his indications.

Then what happened?

  1. I didn't pay any attention to his advice.

Thus the original sentence could read

He advised me [2] to do as he had said [1] but I didn't pay any attention to his advice.[3]

The indications spoken by him were uttered before telling the speaker to follow the advice, which they chose to ignore anyway.

The past perfect is used to show that one event in the past happened before another event in the past. In the OP's example, the advice given [2] and the speaker's reluctance to listen [3] are both in the past, but the man's earlier utterances [1] occurred earlier, so the past perfect construction he had said is appropriate.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.