Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Social_nav_masthead_logged_in
 
up against a rock and a hard place

up against a rock and a hard place

Date: May 18 2005

Quote

1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“But I was up against a rock and a hard place.”
DJ Z-Trip, talking about the complexity of getting rights to sample music from other artists.

Definition

1. Definition - Study the definition.

when you are up against a rock and a hard place, you are in a difficult situation; it means that there is no clear solution and that you are stuck; this is a variation of the phrase “caught between a rock and a hard place”

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

One time, I was up against a rock and a hard place at work. I really liked what I was doing, but I didn’t like my co-workers very much.
The job itself was great. I got to travel and it paid really well. My co-workers were all a little bit rude though. I felt like I was up against a rock and a hard place because if I quit, I would have been unemployed.
In the end, I looked for another job and quit my old one. It was sad, but I hated the feeling of being up against a rock and a hard place.

Examples

1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

“He’s really torn right now. He wants to go back to school in New York, but his wife wants to stay in Portland. He’s up against a rock and a hard place.”“

””He’s really torn right now. He wants to go back to school in New York, but his wife wants to stay in Portland. He’s up against a rock and a hard place.”
“My parents were always up against a rock and a hard place when it came to me doing the things I wanted to in high school. They wanted me to do activities, but never really had the money to pay for them.”
“You really put me up against a rock and a hard place when you asked me to lie for you. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but I also didn’t want to lie.”

“My parents were always up against a rock and a hard place when it came to me doing the things I wanted to in high school. They wanted me to do activities, but never really had the money to pay for them.”

“You really put me up against a rock and a hard place when you asked me to lie for you. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but I also didn’t want to lie.”

Winners

1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

when someone is in dilemma,it can be called that he is up against a rock and a hard place,cause he just can not make an easy decision.
by matilda (beijing, china)
in a dilemma
by beatrice (hong kong, )
I think it means you meet something quite troublesome to cope with.
Thank you!
by andy (nanjing, China)
be in a difficult situation
by tugba (aksaray, turkey)
I believe it means in kind of dilemma, you have two(or several) choices, but both(or all) of them are very hard.
by Carol (Shenzhen, China)
Er^well,I think it means some one is facing big difficulties.
by Ilsa (fs, China)
If you want to do something.You should get other peoples’ permission. Especially for the artist’ work. So,it will take a long time to get permission. Sometimes may face difficulties!
by jianbin (guilin, China)
In a very difficult situation
by Vanky (, Malaysia)
He was in a situation that was difficult to obtain something, in this case the rights to sample music from other artists.
by Paulo (Salvador, Brasil)
up against a rock and a hard place” means there some big difficulties to solve some problems.
by Sonia (Huizhou, China)
it means having two possible cours of action which both are dangerous or unpleasant
by amir (mashhad, iran)

Want to guess next week's slang?

Go to the TOEFL® page >

Likes (8):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast

More English Lessons