Dear experts,

Would you confirm that the use of article is relevant for discriminating the expressions below, or are they freely interchangeable in their respective contexts:

ring a bell
ring the bell

ring a bell - (coll.) sound familiar; remind of smth.: The name of the company rang a bell. One of my neighbors worked for them during the war.

ring the bell - (coll.) 1. (also: ring bells) be met with approval; be a complete success: The Vice President's speeches ring the bell with certain segments of middle America.
2. supply exactly what is necessary or desired: A good hot bowl of soup would ring the bell about now.

Thank you,

Last edited {1}
Original Post
I'd say yes.

ring a bell means to bring to mind a vague memory of having been seen or heard before.

ring the bell means to be convincing or successful
Here is more information about these two phrases.

ring a bell= to evoke a memory, esp. a vague or partial recollection; remind one of something:

His name rings a bell but I can't remember him.

ring the bell= to provide what is desired; be satisfactory or successful:

This new book rings the bell with teenagers.

From: Random House Webster's Unabridge Dictionary

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