On top - on the top

Ivan_I

Senior Member
Russian
Could you properly explain the difference?

He was on top of the mountain.
He was on the top of the mountain.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    The second sounds better in the context of a mountain. Also: He was at the top of the mountain.

    "On top" without "the" goes better with things that aren't as high or large as a mountain. He got on top of the table.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Could you properly explain the difference?

    He was on top of the mountain.:tick:
    He was on the top of the mountain.:tick:
    He was at the top of the mountain.:tick:

    A "mountain" is a thing. You can be "on top of" that thing.

    A "mountaintop", also called "the top of the mountain", is a place. You can be "at" a place. You can also be "on" some places. For example:
    - on a road
    - on a trail
    - on a riverbank
     
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