In a nutshell, ‘apon vs upon’ are two words that are have the same meaning but differ in time and era. They are both prepositions which can be used in the same way when constructing sentences. Proper use of these words will make one to write and speak fluently and effectively.

Looking in-depth at both words separately, the word ‘apon’ is a word, specifically a preposition, which was coined and used extensively during the Middle English era. It is worth mentioning that this word was being used 300 years ago. It was the initial word used for ‘upon’ during that era but is no longer used in modern and contemporary English.

Although, apon and upon are technically the same words and mean the same thing, they are rarely, if not never, used interchangeably. Apon, when it was being used during the Middle English rra was used as a preposition to indicate the relationship between a noun or a pronoun in a sentence with other words used in said sentence.

Apon Vs Upon

Apon vs upon

Over time, the spelling of apon was changed and the ‘a’ was replaced with a ‘u’ hence the birth of the word, ‘upon’. The word apon is not entirely obsolete and extinct as it can and is still being used in other forms of artistic expression, such as poetry.

An instance is shown here in an excerpt from “The Sinner’s Lament”

“Full derly to hym that ye pray

To hym that was don apon a tre

To safe yowrsallis on dowymysday

Qwen all sallessavydmon be.”

How Apon Can Be Used In A Sentence

Another example of how apon can be used in a sentence includes;

“She sat apon a tree”

The above sentence indicates that she (the subject of the sentence) was on top of a tree (the object of the sentence) and the word apon can be easily replaces with upon in the sentence and still maintain its meaning. Apon was, during its times, suggested to be pronounced as “opone”

Now bringing to the limelight the next and more common of the two words, ‘upon’ is also a preposition, hence it is also used to show the relationship between a noun or a pronoun and another word in a sentence. Upon is considered a formal word and preposition and be used in article and other official writings.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, upon is a formal term for ‘on’ used mostly in abstract sentences. It can also be used to replace the word ‘on’ in a sentence. It is a combination of the directional verb ‘up’ and the preposition ‘on’. Apart from being used as a preposition, upon can also be used to show the connection of the noun with other words in a given sentence.

In a nutshell, upon simply means ‘on’ and ‘up’. is still quite an old word that has been used in many historical writings and  text it is also featured in many old religious books, such as the bible, etc. Upon and on can be used interchangeably in texts but one gives a more formal air to the creative piece in question.

Although it is relatively modern to its sister word, apon, upon.

It can also be used to show something in a position that is elevated.
It can be used to mean ‘in contact with directly or indirectly’, the contact here being in time or in relation to a person or event. It can also be used for euphonic reasons (that is, to make sentences sound more pleasing to the ear).

Upon is also used to signify events that happen immediately after a former one. It gives way for another even to take place.

Below are some sentence examples in which upon is being used;

  • Once upon a time… (This is a very popular clause used especially at the beginning of stories and prose).
  • The Winter Solstice is upon us. (this shows a relation to an event)
  • The therapist was someone you could always depend upon for mental advice.
  • The cheetah sprang upon the antelope.
  • He placed the baby carefully upon the couch (this sentence shows the baby in a position that is elevated).

Example On How To Use “Upon”

  •  Upon reaching the castle, the soldiers rested.
  • You can rely upon him.
  • You can call upon him when you need him.
  • He was caught spying upon the fair maiden.
  • He was taken to the hotel room upon his arrival.
  • Do not turn your back upon me!
  • Do you know that the darkness is upon us?

And many other sentences.

Sentences showing where on can be used interchangeably for upon include;

(1) The cat upon the tree/ the cat that is on the tree.

(2) Upon hearing the results, the teams cheered/ on hearing the results, the teams cheered.

The following words can be used synonymously to upon. These words include; above, on, up, over against, at, after, etc. they are all equally prepositions.


In conclusion, we have looked at the topic “apon vs upon” using different examples. Apon and upon are basically the same word but centuries apart. There is no outstanding difference between them as they are both prepositions and can be used interchangeably although apon is already obsolete. This topic “apon vs upon” is highly recommended for all.

By Admin