When I’m teaching at The English Tree at Le Terrazze, I often hear the church bells of San Timoteo ringing as the time passes during the day. Today they made me think of a popular idiom that English speakers like to use… to ring a bell.
If something rings a bell, it sounds familiar – we think we have heard it before.We often use it in conversation when someone refers to the name of a person, a place, a book, a film, a piece of music…. If we think we know the name, but can’t remember details, we say: “The name rings a bell, but I’m not sure where I heard it.”
Here are some examples in short conversations:
“Do you know John Wilson?”
“The namerings a bell, but I don’t remember him. Who is he?”
“Have you been to Bath in the South West of England?”
“The name rings a bell, but I haven’t been. What’s it like?”
“Have you read ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee?”
“The name rings a bell, but I can’t remember it very well. What’s it about?”
We hope that these new idioms start to ring a bell with you!!