Author Topic: if you're too "good", you might go beyond heaven  (Read 553 times)

Offline bookworm

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if you're too "good", you might go beyond heaven
« on: March 18, 2021, 08:59:31 pm »
I've heard a joke by a teacher only once when the exam was about to start. I'm trying to translate it to English and would like to know if this sounds natural and will work in American and British schools.

   Teacher: Don't let your neighbors copy your answer. If you're too "good", you might go beyond heaven.

Many have the idea that bad people go to a place called hell and good people to heaven. If a student is letting his classmates copy his answers, he is "helping" them pass the exam and appears to go beyond the standard of goodness, so he might go beyond heaven someday.

But in reality, it's a humorous way of discouraging this student. Although his intentions are good, his way of helping them is actually a form of cheating.
English is my second language.

Offline Britta

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Re: if you're too "good", you might go beyond heaven
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2021, 07:29:05 am »
I'm not a native speaker either but it wouldn't work for me.
The concept of "beyond good" is as alien to me as "beyond heaven".

Better than good works if you talk about math grades, but in my opinion it doesn't work with good = morally correct.
And helping people to cheat is NOT even remotely morally correct.

You might describe letting people copy your answers as being "too nice", but that doesn't trigger the heaven statement.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2021, 07:33:19 am by Britta »
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†