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Jennifer studies very hard and she is always on/at the top of her class.

Do both on and at fit in the above? If yes, are there any subtle differences in meaning? Thanks.
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Here, I've only heard "at the top of her class."
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Hi Angliholic,

A is on [the] top of B = B is under / underneath / beneath / below A.

When A is a part / member of a set, A can only be 'at the top', especially when we talk about ranking. A, a student, is a part / member of a class; thus, A cannot be 'on the top of ' it, for 'at the top' means first. Here is another example of 'at the top of': John is at the top of his game. The sentence means he is the best compared either to his past effort or to others'.

When people say, 'John is on [the] top of his game', they mean 'John is in control. He knows what he is doing and how to play it well'.

Hope my sharing makes sense.
Hoa Thai
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Comments  
Grammar GeekHere, I've only heard "at the top of her class."
Thanks, GG.

But when should I use "on the top of" and what does it mean? Is the following OK?

Put this book on the top of the pile.

Put your paper on top on mine.
 Hoa Thai's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Hoa ThaiHi Angliholic,

A is on [the] top of B = B is under / underneath / beneath / below A.

When A is a part / member of a set, A can only be 'at the top', especially when we talk about ranking. A, a student, is a part / member of a class; thus, A cannot be 'on the top of ' it, for 'at the top' means first. Here is another example of 'at the top of': John is at the top of his game. The sentence means he is the best compared either to his past effort or to others'.

When people say, 'John is on [the] top of his game', they mean 'John is in control. He knows what he is doing and how to play it well'.

Hope my sharing makes sense.
Hoa Thai

Thanks, Hoa.

Got it.