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Is there an idiomatic way to say that it took a lot of time and effort for someone to do something?

Example: you ask someone a question to which they are reluctant to give an answer, but eventually, and especially after a lot of struggle, they do. And now you want to say something like "oh my god he went through hell to answer that (which isn't befitting of course)". What should we say?

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You can use the adjective "laborious" (OALD.

  • That was laborious.

An expression would be "to move Heaven and Earth".

  • We had to move Heaven and Earth to get permission from the authorities.
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  • Much appreciated
    – user323595
    May 7 '20 at 14:26
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Perhaps the idiom went the extra mile?

From M-W:

go the extra mile: to do more than one is required to do, e.g., she's always willing to go the extra mile to help a friend.

From Cambridge:

go the extra mile: to make more effort than is expected of you, e.g., to be successful, you need to be willing to go the extra mile for your customers.