For example:

I lost interest after I had been a couple of pages in.

Can we use this sentence in formal situations?

  • Are you just curious about this particular usage? Or did you just overlook "I lost interest after reading a few pages"? – AIQ May 13 at 7:11
  • @AIQ Actually I'm curious about this unconventional usage of the preposition "in" and I would love to know if there are more situations in which I can use it. – Moha May 13 at 18:09

The simple past tense would sound better:

I lost interest after I was a couple of pages in.

Can this be used in a formal situation?

Well... the above mentioned sentence is more like typical spoken English rather than formal written English.

To be clear - it sounds informal. But not in some extraordinary way. It's not slang, for example.

Often, written essays and articles take an informal tone. In those cases, you might be able to use this phrasing. Other times, where a truly formal style is required, you could rewrite the sentence. One example: "The author is not able to hold the reader's interest, droning on about trivial details which have little relevance to the main topic."

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