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To block someone or something is to place an obstacle in the way. A block is a solid piece of wood.
Ex: After my father finished sealing the driveway, he used the empty sealant cans to block the entrance. We had to park our cars on the street for two days.
Ex: I've always been fascinated by people who create sculptures out of a single block of wood.
They are able to see what the wood will become before they begin carving.
A chip off the old block refers to someone who is just like his or her parents. It comes from the fact that a chip of wood has the same characteristics as the block of wood it came from. To knock someone's block off means to hit him very hard, usually on the head.
Ex: Like his father, Edward loves fishing, hunting, and camping. You could say he's a chip off the old block.
Ex: When Frank told Galen that he should confess that he'd cheated on the math test, Galen threatened to knock his block off if Frank didn't stay out of his business.


A hindrance is an obstacle or difficulty in proceeding or completing a task or journey. The verb form of hindrance is hinder, and to hinder is to cause a delay.
Ex: An ankle sprain hindered Naomi's ability to care for her newborn son, so her mother had to move in for a couple of days to help carry him around.
Ex: My lack of formal education was a hindrance to my success at the law firm. Even working harder than everyone else failed to get me a promotion.
A hindrance can be a stumbling block, a barrier to success. The expression more of a hindrance than a help means that something intended to make a task easier actually makes it more difficult.
Ex: I was thrilled to be competing on Jeopardy!, but nine-time champion, Arthur Chu, proved to be a stumbling block to my success. I felt lucky to come in second.
Ex: Because Karen won the first challenge, she had a bigger choice of ingredients than the other contestants did to cook a winning dish. It proved to be more of a hindrance than a help when she couldn't make up her mind which ones to use.
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