What the hell!

Most Important Level 3

"What the hell?" / "What the hell…?"

Meaning: used to emphasize a strong emotion like anger or surprise

Similar Expressions
  • What the hell are you doing?
  • What are you doing?
  • What the heck are you doing?
When do we use it?

We use this phrase when we are shocked or angry. This phrase just emphasizes these emotions. It does not add any extra meaning to the sentence.
  • What is he doing?
  • What the hell is he doing?
It is best to only use this phrase around our friends and in casual situations. This phrase is not a very bad phrase, but it is also not really polite language, so it is best to be careful when using it. We probably do not want to use this at a formal meeting or when we are trying to make a good impression.

How do we use it?

We can use this expression by itself when we are angry or surprised.

A) I'm sorry, but I dropped your phone and broke it.
B) What the hell?

A) Surprise!
B) Oh! What the hell?

We can also add this expression to many questions. Just put it right after the question word.
  • What the hell are you looking at?
  • What the hell is that smell?
  • What the hell did you do?
  • Where the hell will you go?
  • Why the hell did you do that?
  • How the hell did you finish already?
The more English idioms and expressions that you know, the easier it will be for you to have conversation in English. If you study these free English lessons about commonly used English expressions and idioms consistently, then over time, you will build a solid English vocabulary that will help you speak English fluently.