I am not a native English speaker. I read this phrase in a book, '... more beloved than everything UPON WHICH the sun rises,...' Could anyone clarify what this phrase means? And what is the meaning of 'upon which' here? Thanks

  • 2
    A modern version of that quote would be "More beloved than everything the sun shines on" (The author is saying that this thing is more important than everything in the whole world). This is form of english is rarely used now but it's essentially a reordering of "everything the sun shines upon".
    – user121341
    Jun 7, 2016 at 9:44
  • It's always better to provide context (i.e. the surrounding passage) when asking what something means. But I agree with Rathony.
    – TrevorD
    Jun 7, 2016 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


upon (up + on) which the sun rises... the word "upon" in this case, it is similar to the word "over".. upon seems a little bit more formal for me..

Even the Oxford website gives that notion: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/upon

"More formal term for on, especially in abstract senses. it was based upon two principles a school’s dependence upon parental support"

Think about all the things that are illuminated by the light of the rising sun (sun OVER everything).

For me, this phrase is very poetic and basically, means "something which is more beloved than everything".

  • This is not an explanation of the usage of upon which in the question, which has nothing to do with being illuminated by the rising sun. Aug 8, 2016 at 9:46

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