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In the BBC radio drama The Archers, the following conversation takes place:

A:             David, you are not going to say what you saw. You love your family, right?
David:   What?
A:             Because if you do, then do exactly as what I had said.

Why past perfect in this conversation? Can’t we simply say one of:

  • Do exactly what I said.
  • Do exactly what I have said.
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Personally, there is a slight difference in meaning. By using 'had said' it gives me the feeling of a reference to a specific utterance slightly further in the past. Whereas, 'have said' is something that was uttered more recently.

I'm not sure if this is correct as I cannot see the whole context of the conversation, but this is the feeling I get.

  • 1
    More precisely, it seems to indicate that it was said before a particular moment in the past, possibly a moment when David failed to do exactly as he was told. – JeffSahol May 18 '12 at 20:02
  • This is the whole conversation basically. It's a phone call to be more presize. – Noah May 19 '12 at 0:49
  • 1Answer is perfectly right. No doubt in it. Thanking you. mlrao – user39634 Mar 15 '13 at 10:47

protected by user140086 Jul 15 '16 at 7:58

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