What is the grammatical role and structure of "upon" in the following sentences?

Much of the world’s great architecture has been constructed of stone because of its beauty, permanence, and availability. In the past, whole cities grew from the arduous task of cutting and piling stone upon.

  • 1
    What is the source of the quote?
    – Jasper
    Mar 5, 2019 at 1:29
  • 1
    Are you sure that the sentence does not end with "piling stone upon stone" instead of "piling stone upon"?
    – Jasper
    Mar 5, 2019 at 1:30
  • @Jasper Yes, I am sure. But it may be the wrong in the source as @ fred2 has answered! Mar 5, 2019 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


I did a Google search and found the phrase you cited here. Obviously, it is being used in a "TOEFL" course.

Despite the fact the sentence was presumably written by an expert in English, I think the use of "upon" in the sentence is clearly an error which was missed by the proof-readers. "Upon" could and should either be omitted entirely, or one needs to say upon what the stone is being piled.

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