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I was asking for a book recommendation from someone and I began like this:

I'm an autodidact and had embarked on completing B.Sc. level Mathematics

The first clause of the first line: "I'm an autodidact" is in present tense and the second clause "had embarked on ..." is in past perfect tense. I made no reference to any past tense, but I meant to say "at some time in past, I had decided to embark on completing the B.Sc. level Mathematics"

Was I correct in using "had" in my original sentence?

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HallWas I correct in using "had" in my original sentence?

It sounds wrong. Still, occasionally the past perfect is used before the anchor point in the past is established, so you might have that anchor in the very next sentence or two. Who knows? This is all you've given us to look at, so it's impossible to say. If this is the whole message, however, and/or no anchor is established anywhere, then it's definitely wrong, and you should change 'had' to 'have'.

CJ

Comments  
HallWas I correct in using "had" in my original sentence?

No. I see where you're coming from, but a verb tense alone is not enough; it is just puzzling. Also, contractions are taboo in formal writing, you can't "embark on gerund", the two thoughts belong in separate sentences, and you can't leave the reader to wonder what became of your attempt to do math. I would go splash some cold water on my face and come back and try again.

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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.

“ This is all you've given us to look at”

“I’m an autodidact and had embarked on completing B.Sc. level mathematics. Till now, I have completed Linear Algebra, and currently going on with Real Analysis”

I think I didn’t establish anchor point in that conversation.

HallI think I didn’t establish an anchor point in that conversation.

Correct. You didn't.

So you'll need to change 'had' to 'have' in the first sentence.


By the way, we almost always transfer the negation to the main clause with "I think" statements: I don't think I established an anchor point ....

CJ

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