EnBooo Podcast

Episode 117 • Heaven & Hell

117

A hell of a...

What the hell!

All hell breaks loose

Hello no!

Heaven forbid...

Story

Bella: Hey Joey.
Joey: ‘Sup Bella? Let’s just wait for Jimmy then we can get going.
Bella: Okay, yeah, he said he’s on his way. By the way, are you okay? I heard something happened at the club yesterday.
Joey: Wait, who told you?
Bella: Sam, the bartender. We’re friends. But he didn’t tell me what happened exactly.
Joey: Yeah, well. It was a hell of a night. I don’t remember much ‘cause I think I drank too much.
Bella: Again? Oh, Joey. Well, you must remember something.
Joey: I mean… I remember that I went to this bar with Jimmy to watch the game, we drank, you know, maybe a little bit too much, and then this dude, out of nowhere, I’m telling you, he comes and tells me I need to stop drinking and takes away my glass, and I’m like, you know, like, what the hell! You know? Like, you’re not my mom! Anyway, I may have gotten a little angry, I’ll admit it, and…. I think I punched the guy. And that’s when all hell broke loose in the bar. Everybody started screaming, fighting, and throwing chairs… It- It was crazy.
Bella: Joey, this needs to stop. You can’t keep doing this. You need to find this guy, apologize-
Joey: Hell no! I mean, what right did he have to tell me what to do? He doesn’t even know me.
Bella: It doesn’t matter. Joey, I’m serious. These anger issues that you have. You need help. This kind of stuff is going to get you in trouble. And listen, what about the guy you punched? Is- Is he fine? I heard somebody called an ambulance. Heaven forbid something happens to this guy and then you end up-
Joey: Oh come on, I barely touched the guy-
Bella: Oh here comes Jimmy, oh my gosh, Jimmy! What- What happened to your face?
Jimmy: Well, somebody punched me last night.
Joey: Wait, you were the guy I punched?

Questions

A hell of a...

'Yeah, well. It was a hell of a night.'

• If you say it was a hell of a night, does that mean it was a great night or a terrible night?

If you listen to the story, you might notice that the way this expression was used was to indicate that that night had been a terrible night. This is one of the two possible meanings that this expression could have. It was a hell of a night. It was awful. It was horrible. It can also have the opposite meaning, meaning, "Oh my gosh, we had so much fun. It was a hell of a night." Depending on the context, a lot of times this expression can have these two completely opposite meanings.

• What else could you replace night with?

Probably with pretty much anything. It was a hell of a ride, for example, or it was a hell of a movie, or maybe he was a hell of a man. Really pretty much with anything.

• Can you think of a recent night that was a hell of a night? (when I got the vaccine)

I think, my nights are usually pretty quiet because I don't do much, but when I got my vaccine the second time, I got a fever, and I was by myself in the house. No matter what medications I would take, the fever wouldn't go down. It was a rough night. I could definitely say that it was a hell of a night. Not looking forward to spending another night like that again.

What the hell!

'... like, what the hell! You know? Like, you’re not my mom!'

• When would you say “what the hell”? When you’re angry or when you hear something funny?

You usually say what the hell when you're angry. Now, I should probably say that the expression, the word "hell" is not seen as a great word. In fact, some people may even consider it a bad word. Children are not allowed to use it usually, so careful with that. Just keep that in mind when you want to use this expression. If you don't have any problems with that and you want to use it with a friend, that's fine. It's not a terrible, terrible word. It's not like one of those big swear words.

• How else do you feel when saying what the hell? Shocked and surprised or excited and enthusiastic?

We already said that when you say "what the hell", you're usually angry, but you're also shocked and surprised. Something unexpected happened and that made you angry? You would react by saying, "What the hell! What were you thinking?"

• When was the last time you thought “What the hell!”?

I get frustrated easily, so I say that probably once a day. I remember very vividly this one time when I was working on putting together the language journal and I thought I was done. I had been working night and day for weeks on this thing, and I was ready to send it to finally get printed. I look at the preview and it looked nothing like what I wanted it to look. There were some format issues. I don't know what was wrong, but I remember looking at it and being like, "What the hell? What else do you want me to do?" Then I fixed it and everything was fine. Every now and then getting that, what the hell out, it helps. It helps relieve the stress in a way.

All hell breaks loose

'And that’s when all hell broke loose in the bar.'

• What happens when all hell breaks loose, do people start shouting and fighting or do people start smiling at each other?

No, people don't start smiling at each other. If all hell breaks loose, people start shouting and fighting. It gets chaotic. It's a mess.

• Have you ever been in a situation where all hell broke loose?

No. I never go to bars. All the concerts that I've been to, they were fine. Nothing major happened. This is usually something that you would say when there's a lot of people, but I think a good example would be Black Friday, because on Black Friday you got people lining up to be the first ones to make a purchase at the store that they chose. A lot of times, as soon as the door is open, all hell breaks loose. Meaning there's people that just start walking on top of each other because they want to get to the product first, and people that are just becoming very aggressive. I think if you have that picture in mind of when people are starting to get ready to get into a store when it's opening time, and then the moment when the doors open and everybody just swarms in and they do what they got to do to get what they want to get. I think that is a very good image to understand what the expression, "all hell breaks loose" means.

Hell no!

'Hell no! I mean, what right did he have to tell me what to do?'

• What’s a synonym for hell no? Absolutely not or I’ll think about it?

A synonym for "hell no" is absolutely not. It means there's no way this is going to happen. It's obviously used to answer or to respond to someone's suggestion. Do you want to do this? Hell no. I don't want to do this. Or maybe you should do this. Hell no, I'm not going to do that.

• Is hell no formal or informal?

It's definitely informal. Plus, like I said, the word "hell" is not the best word. It's formal and slightly vulgar if you will. It's not a big deal if you say it.

• What’s a question you’d definitely answer with a hell no?

I think anything that has to do with extreme sports, that would be my first response. Say, you asked me, "Hey, Lara, we're going parachuting this weekend. You want to come?" I couldn't just say no. I'd be like, "Hell no. There's no way I'm going with you. There's nothing that I would rather do less."

Heaven forbid...

'Heaven forbid something happens to this guy and then you end up-'

• If you begin a sentence with ‘heaven forbid’, does that mean you wish for what you’re about to say to happen or not?

No. When you say "heaven forbid", and then you say whatever the situation is, for example, heaven forbid something happens to this guy, that means I really hope that that's not going to happen. I'm seriously hoping that this is not going to happen. The way it works, as you can see, you have "heaven forbid", and then you have the verb in the affirmative form. "Heaven forbid this happens" means I absolutely don't even want to think about the possibility of this happening because I don't want it to happen in the least.

• Think of something you don’t want to happen in the near future, then create a sentence using heaven forbid.

If I had recorded this episode a week ago, I probably would've said, "Heaven forbid Marcos and I get COVID and we got to change our travel plans." Obviously I cannot say that anymore because it has happened. It is what it is, and we're still going to try and make the best of it.

Join the Community and access the FULL transcript (Questions + Answers).

Share this:
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Don’t miss this opportunity!

Join the four-week speaking challenge – practice speaking every day, connect with other learners and receive feedback directly from Lara!