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Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English with this choices English lesson

Date: May 07 2013

Themes: Soap Opera

Grammar: Definite & Indefinite Articles


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Have you ever had a really difficult decision to make? You have two choices, but neither feels right. In fact, if you choose either one, you feel as if something will go wrong, or you’ll miss out on something important. You feel trapped. You’re caught between a rock and a hard place.

And it really does feel like that. It feels as if you were exploring a cave, and then a rockslide occurred. Now a rock blocks your entrance. Behind you is only the hard cave wall. Both choices are bad: push against the heavy rock, or try to find some way through the hard wall.

Amanda is faced with one of those difficult decisions right now. Find out what she considers the rock and the hard place in this choices English lesson.




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Amanda:  Marni, how did you know when the time was right?

Marni:  Well, I knew I wanted to be a mom, and I’m certainly not getting any younger, so I just kept trying and it happened. I don’t think you can ever feel completely ready, but I just jumped in.

Amanda:  I know. I just, I feel like my career is going really well right now. And I feel like I’m being forced to make a choice: career or baby. And I can’t really get around that. I feel like I have to sacrifice one for another. Basically, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Marni:  Plenty of women have careers and children. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. It doesn’t feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place to me.

Greta:  Guys, do you have a minute? I’ve got something really important that I need help with.

Amanda:  Well, actually, we were…

Greta:  Great. OK. So. Here’s the thing. I talked to the people at SlipperSoft. Basically, the slippers are like a horrible sandpaper if you don’t use the penguin eyelashes. So if we quit using them, the company goes out of business, and all those people lose their jobs, and I don’t want to be responsible for lots of people losing their jobs. But penguins are so cute! I don’t want to be responsible for hurting them either. I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place here.

Amanda:  Surely there’s something else they can use to make those slippers soft, right?

Greta:  I don’t know…

Marni:  You guys. Jeff’s on the phone. He was in a skydiving accident.

Amanda:  Oh my god!

Greta:  Is he OK?

Marni:  He’s trapped under a giant rock. He only has one arm free, and he used it to call us for help.

Greta:  Why did he call you for help?

Marni:  He didn’t have your number. But he wants to talk to you. Jeff, Jeff, are you there? Here.

Greta:  Hello?


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Amanda is talking to Marni because she’s facing a difficult decision. She doesn’t know how to choose between having a career and having a child. She feels that if she does one, she’ll have to give up the other. She’s caught between a rock and a hard place.

Marni thinks it’s not that big a deal. She thinks that plenty of women have both careers and children. Amanda just needs to not stress out about it so much.

Greta feels stuck, too. She doesn’t know what to do about the slippers. If she insists that they stop using the penguin eyelashes, the company will go out of business and people will lose their jobs. But if she doesn’t insist, then penguins will be hurt. She’s caught between a rock and a hard place, too.

Then a call comes in from Jeff, and it turns out he’s had a skydiving accident. He is literally stuck underneath a rock. And he wants to talk to Greta!

Have you ever been stuck between a rock and a hard place? What happened? How did you make a decision?



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I don’t understand this : penguin eyelashes and production of slippers.

Is it a joke?

Please,explain it.


12:26 PM May 17 2013 |




Just remembered where I heard that expression. Life of Pi!!! The whole book is between a Rock and a Hard Place. Amazing!

11:32 PM May 07 2013 |



sometimes you have to make a choice, no matter how hard it is…let it go or be dragged

10:55 PM May 07 2013 |




You drive on the road and somebody is in front of you drags on so slow definitely violating the driver’s speed zone – 30 km less than should be. You need to pass as it’s hot, you’re in a hurry, and you simply want to drive at the normal speed as you usually do. But on the other lane, the drivers much overspeeding 10-20 km more than the speed limit tells. So, you want to jump in that fast lane, but you can’t, since there’s a big speed difference and there’s no gap. So, that 10 minutes untill the fast road is clear, you stuck between the rock and a hard place, dragging behind the extremely slow car and unable to merge into the super fast flow. :)

10:21 PM May 07 2013 |




An extraordinary case  of a mountaineer  .Aron Ralston  got trapped under a dislodged boulder and to free himself  cut off his right arm , he didn´t have other choice ,  he  wouldn´t  have  survived the extreme cold  of the mountain until the rescuers  could find him. Great courage and determination. A clear case of being caught between a rock and a hard place.

09:46 PM May 07 2013 |

Ngubo Sixtus

South Africa

if you are caught between a rock and a hard place, you need to take time to think and decide about a sitiuation. the decision is gonna come but if it is over the hills, you  need to get an adivicer.

05:27 PM May 07 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

no dear jansladek, i didn’t say make a decision by chance, i said toss a coin and see what you want, try it once, while that coin is up you choose one of them in your heart and will desire for just one, you know in fact, it hides in your conscience.

04:44 PM May 07 2013 |




Yes this lesson is very like from the real life.Every one of us has been in same situation ,caught between a rock and a hard place ones at last…Not only a jos´s situations are contained in it….We say in Slovakia ´´you can´t sit on two chairs´´ if both are with the spikes on,don´t sit but stay stand and wait for the chair with no spikes on it…And I will come certain day for sure…...You can tass the coin as DAMAVAND said,but it´s just coincidence what side ends up on ur palm…..So how could you rule your life by this way ???

I always make a list of good advantage and bad advantage and what wins that one I choice…...........

Anyway guys   nice lesson….

02:41 PM May 07 2013 |

Ya Nina


I suppose that every person faced such situations when we felt ourselves were caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m sure that there aren’t the situations without an entrance. Certainly sometimes we think that we haven’t got an entrance and we haven’t got any suitable successful situations. Basically that position occurs only because of our unwillingness or our inability on any situations from outside. It is very important to study to look at yourself and your situation from outside. In that case the situation which you consider as very difficult and insolvable is shown to you on all sides. You can see all pluses and minuses. Then you can decide what will be better for you at that time of your life.

For me I believe in our intuition and prefer to consider such situations in my life keep in mind the theory about intuition. It is concluded that we have mind and intuition. Our mind very is clever. It understand and analyze all our day, minute and moment. It always knows what it will be better for us, for our future life. Unfortunately sometimes our mind could be mistaken. The cause of that although our mind is very clever and wish ourselves well, it couldn’t feel. Our intuition sees our future and can feel right and wrong decision. In that cases the most difficult for us this is to hear and to feel those advices that give us our intuition. This isn’t so hard. You need to shut down your mind when you make an important desicion and understand what you really want. Your true desire is an advice that your intuition suggests you. 

If you don’t believe in that theory you can try some day and then you can meet with your intuition – your best friend and assistant in your life.

12:27 PM May 07 2013 |

join liang


yes , with the same situations  of nuriaruiz. 

08:22 AM May 07 2013 |


NuriaRuizSuper Member!


Yes, i was between a rock and a hard place when working in a comfortable company i got the opportunity to work in an interesting company, less comfortable but more refreshing.

06:33 AM May 07 2013 |


Russian Federation

I think with each an every choice we lose something, because you basically ‘choose’ one and ‘leave’ another alternative. Losing happens all the time. So the point is in feeling what is the best for you. If in a particular moment you don’t have the feeling, then just don’t make the choice. Give it and yourself sometime. ‘The time is right’ when you get the feeling.

05:30 AM May 07 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Hahahah. Again a new joke lesson on Ebaby, very interesting… especially I like the last part about Jeff, poor baby, who really stuck in a rock and a hard place is Jeff not others, and about Amanda, I wonder when she wants to make a final decision, time runs so fast, she is getting old :D and this story is going to be a bit boring, being mother or not is a certain event, at last, one day comes that she should be a mother, it doesn’t matter earlier or later, by the way nice lesson I laughed a lot, because I remembered many times I was actually between a rock and a hard place, one things I’ve learnt for these critical situations, may be useful for others: “ when you feel you’re caught between a rock and a hard place, and can’t make a correct decision, toss a coin and see which side you wish to come before its fall! It’s exactly what you want.” I usually try it when it’s toss-up, consider myself in one of those situations, then swap the conditions and repeat it again, in this way everything  makes more clear for me to make a decision much easier.   

03:19 AM May 07 2013 |



Syrian Arab Republic

actually yes . right now am stuck between a rock and a hard place but i cant explain it its something special

and i still stuck and havent taken any decision

i liked this lesson a lot

god bless Jeff and protect him


12:16 AM May 07 2013 |

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