it rings a bell

Click below to listen to the phrase.


Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) it’s too loud !

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

b) it sounds familiar !

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

to ring a bell’ means that something sounds familiar and causes someone to remember something. If a phrase or a word, especially a name, ‘rings a bell’ you think you have heard it before.

French translation

j’ai déjà entendu ça quelque part, ça me dit quelque chose !

How NOT to translate : *ça fait tinter une cloche


Examples in context

‘The app that can read your mind’

‘Wristbands are the latest craze in high-tech fitness hardware. Nike+ and Fitbit might ring a bell.
But could headbands be the next big thing ?
The Canadian company InteraXon is going there with the introduction of Muse, a headband that links with your mobile device to read your mind. Sure, brain stuff can be scary. But don’t worry. This one’s here for your own good.’ , 25 Sept. 2013


‘"Once the mark of sailors and bikers, body art is now sought after by the fashion-hungry," said the Observer in January 2011.
This line might ring a bell with (very) long-time readers of Vanity Fair, which told the world in 1926 that : "Tattooing has passed from the savage to the sailor, from the sailor to the landsman. It has since percolated through the entire social stratum ; tattooing has received its credentials, and may now be found beneath many a tailored shirt.".’

BBC News, 3rd Feb. 2014


Everyday usage

Does the name ’Claramedia’ ring a bell ?

I’m sorry. I can’t say that the information you gave me rings any bells.

c) it’s really difficult !

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

Missed last week’s phrase ? Catch up here

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