Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the title of the fourth book in the Harry Potter series. However, J.K. Rowling also considered to call it Harry Potter and the Fire Goblet.

I am from Argentina so the translation would be the same to Spanish, but what is the difference in English in both forms?

  • 1
    Goblet of Fire has a better prosody in this title. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 22 '17 at 4:34

A tea cup is a cup intended for drinking tea from.

A cup of tea is some tea placed in a cup for drinking.

Would you like another cup of tea?

usually means keeping the same cup but with more tea poured into it.

Would you like another tea cup?

means would you prefer a different piece of crockery, perhaps the first one is cracked.

If you go to a large department store and say you want twelve wine glasses you will be directed to the tableware department. If you say you want twelve glasses of wine you will be directed to the cafe area.

So "fire goblet" emphasizes the nature of the goblet itself, whereas "goblet of fire" emphasizes the contents of the goblet--the fire.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 2
    I agree completely, as far as general usage goes. I'm not sure this distinction is made all the time in fantasy writing. A writer may call the goblet "Goblet of Fire" without reference to whether it actually contains fire at present. I think in fantasy writing the two are used a bit more interchangeably, with "Goblet of Fire" sounding a bit more formal or archaic. – Ryan Haber Mar 22 '17 at 11:58
  • Thank you so much. I was thinking in something like that but I could never explained it like you did. – Patricio Mar 23 '17 at 11:00
  • Your argument carries some weight, but you give examples that are far more banal and idiomatically fixed. 'Goblet of fire' is not a standard expression (though that's gradually changing as a result of the influence of the book and film) and 'well of riches/loneliness' might be better comparators. But the bottom line is, as @StoneyB says, 'goblet of fire' sounds a lot better, which is doubtless why Rowling chose this variant. Look at the names she chooses. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 6 '18 at 0:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.