I'd like to frame this into a sort of fill-in-the-blank format, to best allude to the meanings I'm trying to ascribe to the above pairs. I will also, subsequently, put these pairs into a 3-axis matrix, to help discern what kind of "third pair" I'm trying to find; here is my query:

Where Aufgang and Niedergang are on a Y-Axis; and translate to rise and fall (roughly/creatively) into English, and Übergang and Untergang are on a Z-Axis; and translate to overcome and undergo (or, perhaps, more generically, as ascend and descend)..., ____-gang and ____-gang are on an X-axis, and translate to ____ and ____.

New edit (8/28): The point was to find an xyz plane that utilized some of the provided, suggested translations, in order to determine how the xyz axis in english would [roughly] translate to:

X: ?? and ?? (A mortal-like quality, but similar words to the given pairs.) Y: Rising and Falling (A divine/godly quality) Z: Overcoming and Undergoing (A ethical/demigod-like quality)

  • 1
    Your suggested pairs are weird; while Aufstieg (instead of Aufgang, which is mostly used for stairs and the sun) / 'Niedergang is a valid counterpiece pair (but auf*/*ab would be much more convincing). Übergang / Untergang is a mismatch similar to transition / collapse. On x-axis left / right is hard to avoid, as well as vor / zurück.
    – guidot
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 20:20
  • 1
    Something like Eingang and Ausgang?
    – Martin Gal
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 23:53
  • 1
    Or Vorgang and Nachgang or Zugang and Abgang?
    – Martin Gal
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 0:10
  • 2
    Clarifying the question by edit is the preferred way regardless of privileges. Otherwise one can get the situation where one does not understand an answer without reading the comments to the question. Anyway, the good news is, once your reputation is above a certain level (not sure about the exact number), if you register for another SE site, you will not start with 1 there, but with 101.
    – Carsten S
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 9:06
  • 2
    Oh, and I have just approved your edit (not even sure why this was necessary) to not make your experience more Kafkaesque, but usually you wouldn't address individual people, but just make sure that your question as a whole makes sense. Also, thanking people does not really belong into questions.
    – Carsten S
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 9:11

1 Answer 1


The pairs in your assumption are incorrect.

  • Aufgang

    1. This is the movement of the sun, the moon, any Planet and any star from below the horizon to above the horizon. For the sun it's sunrise in English, and moonrise etc. The opposite word (sunset, moonset, ...) is Untergang.
    2. A second meaning is a stairway or a corridor with a slope that leads from a main level up to a higher level. The opposite word (stairway/corridor going down) is Abgang.
  • Niedergang

    1. This is the process of collapsing or going under (»der Niedergang des Römischen Reichs« = »the decline of the Roman Empire«) The opposite word (the rise) is Aufstieg (no ...gang).
    2. A small staircase or ladder on ships to connect two decks. For this meaning there is no opposite word.
  • Übergang

    1. This is the German word for a transition or change of a person or thing from one state into another (»Der Übergang vom Mittelalter in die die Neuzeit ging mit großen gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen einher.« = »The transition from the Middle Ages to modern times was accompanied by great social changes.«) - There is no opposite word for this meaning.
    2. An Übergang can also be a bridge. (»Die beiden Zwillings-Bürotürme sind im 12. Stockwerk durch einen Übergang miteinander verbunden.« = »The two twin office towers are connected by a passageway on the 12th floor.«) - Also this meaning doesn't have an opposite word.
  • Untergang

    1. This is a synonym for Niedergang-1 (»Der Untergang des Römischen Reichs« = »the decline of the Roman Empire«) The opposite word (the rise) is Aufstieg.
    2. For sun, moon etc. this is the opposite word for Aufgang-1 (»Sonnenuntergang« = »sunset«).

some other frequently used nouns ending in ...gang

  • Zugang = access, entrance
  • Jahrgang = age group, cohort
  • Umgang = contact, handling, exposure
  • Vorgang = procedure, process
  • Ausgang = exit, outcome
  • Eingang = entrance, access, inlet
  • Durchgang = pass, passage, transit
  • Rückgang = reduction, decline, decrease
  • Alleingang = solo effort, solo
  • Abgang = loss, separation, outflow
  • Tiefgang = flotation depth, draft, gauge
  • Hergang = course of events
  • Hauptgang = main course, main corridor, master lode
  • Freigang = prison leave, free access, ease of operation

There are many hundreds of such nouns (Müßiggang, Kirchgang, Heimgang, Wellengang, Rückwärtsgang, Gehörgang, Landgang, Stuhlgang, Seegang, Nachgang, Hofgang, Krebsgang, Bittgang and much much more with extremely different meanings.)

  • +1 Good answer. I just want to add the opposite of Übergang=passageway is Unterführung=underbridge. The opposite to "small staircase" is "Aufgang".
    – äüö
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 8:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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