what goes up must come down

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by spohreis, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. spohreis Senior Member

    Hallo allerseits!

    What is the equivalent saying for "what goes up must go down"?

    Danke im voraus!
  2. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Some possibilities:

    (Alles) was raufgeht muss auch (mal) wieder runter(kommen/gehen).

    The stuff in parentheses can be used or omitted, but I'm not sure which is the most common phrase, or if maybe another one is out there.

    P.S. I think in English we usually say ...must come down; I'm not sure whether -kommen or -gehen is better in German, but you can also leave it out.
  3. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    "Kommen" is better in German, too.

    More common and colloquial is:
    "Runter kommen sie alle." :D
  4. spohreis Senior Member

    Hello brian!

    I post this way because I found in the Google the following. "You know the saying that what goes up must go down." If this way is not the more usual, it would be better change the title of my question.

  5. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Frank's suggestion actually is the only possible idiomatic translation (as far as I know), I don't think we have an idiom where both going up and coming down are mentioned.
    You may of course translate the idiom to German (and Brian's try is correct, preferably with "kommen") - but if you do it isn't anymore a set idiom.
  6. spohreis Senior Member

    I have found this "Was hinaufgeht, kommt auch wieder herunter." But apparently, there is no much reference to that sentence in Google. That sentence would be understood as "what goes up must come down" in German?
  7. Derselbe Senior Member

    Deutsch, German, ドイツ語
    Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall. can be an idiomatic alternative in some contexts.
  8. DS56 Member

    New York City
    As for the English: Brian is definitely correct, it's "What goes up must come down."

    This makes sense in the image: What goes up [away from us, trying to reach a higher level] must come [back] down [to where we are, where it should have stayed].

    "What goes up must go down" is not correct English. (It might be possible only if there is meant to be a pun on "going down" = oral sex.)
  9. Unnoticed New Member

    The best translation I can come up with is: "Das Leben ist ein Auf und Ab."
  10. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    This would be equivalent to the common English idiom "pride comes before a fall". However, in such contexts, I would never use the phrase "what comes up must come down". The latter phrase is mainly used when shooting things up into the air, since it's inescapable fact of life that gravity will bring them back down again. However, it could also be applied in some other analogous contexts. For example, when talking about share prices, since these actually do "go up" (as opposed to happiness, success, pride, and so on, which increase instead) and typically do come back down again at some point in time.

  11. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Hi Spohreis,

    it is not easy to translate idioms. So can you give more context, please?

    In which situation is it said?

    In coll. language I know:

    "Was 'raufgeht, muss auch 'runterkommen." (compare the swing (Schaukel).) - This is almost literally, and it is idiomatic in German coll. language.
    "Alles was rauf geht, muss irgendwann (mal) wieder runter kommen."
    "Alles was rauf geht, kommt irgendwann (mal) wieder runter."

    I do not know exactly, if "rauf geht" is to be written in two words here, and whether the apostrophe is required.

    Similar is in a certain context:
    "Es ist noch niemand oben geblieben!" (mostly used if someone flies with an airplane - and this is sarcasm.)

    Abhängig vom Kontext:

    Hoch hinauf - tief hinab/tief hinunter

    The shortest form is "Was steigt, muss fallen!"
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  12. spohreis Senior Member

    Hello Hutschi,

    As Abba said above: The latter phrase is mainly used when shooting things up into the air, since it's inescapable fact of life that gravity will bring them back down again. I think it was Sir Isaac Newton who coined it.:confused:

    I have found "Was hinaufgeht, kommt auch wieder herunter" for "what goes up must come down" in a dictionary, but apparently the whole sentence appears only there. I have searched in all web! Could you please tell why it does not fit here, I mean, why "Was hinaufgeht, kommt auch wieder herunter" is not a good translation for "what goes up must come down" in German?

    Thanks for your help!
  13. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    The problem here is not that it is wrong, but that it is not used as idiom. As translation "Was hinaufgeht, kommt auch wieder herunter" is ok and idiomatically, but not an idiom. (Es ist korrekt, aber wird nicht als Redewendung verwendet.)

    Idioms are often colloquially.

    "Was rauf geht, kommt auch (wieder) runter" is such an idiom.

    "Rauf" and "runter" are used colloquially.

    If you compare the phrases the difference is the style.
    If you search for "Was rauf geht, kommt" you find much more hits.

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