all cooking was done over coal-fired ranges


You can use virtually to indicate that something is so nearly true that for most purposes it can be regarded as true.
Virtually all cooking was done over coal-fired ranges...
Collins Cobuild

1) Am I right that the 'over' means:
2) at a higher level or layer than
his flat was over the shop
2) Can be "on" also used here?
Thank you.
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Not only can on be used here, it should be.

    I would go so far as to say that over is virtually wrong here, or at the very least unidiomatic. I could imagine cooking over a fire, but with a stove or range, it has to be on.


    English - England
    My wife is currently slaving over a hot stove... (She'd better get a move on: the light's going and the ridge tiles need doing.)
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