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Hi,

"The price of books has changed a great deal over the years."

Why is the "price" here in the singular?

My dictionary says "price" is a countable noun.

As the "books" is in plural, can I say "prices" instead of "price"?

If you can use "prices", which is correct?

1. The prices of books have changed ...

2. Prices of books have changed ...

Thank you very much for your help.
Comments  
When talking about book prices in general they're both ok.
I see... Thank you so much for your reply!

If these three sentences are correct, which is the most common to use?

1. The price of books has changed a great deal over the years.

2. The prices of books have changed ...

3. Prices of books have changed ...

Thanks again!
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No idea really, even though I'd say that book prices is just as common as (the) price(s) of books.
To me, "changed" actually meant " increased" here, and the author of the sentence had in mind a single "subject" -the increasing Price which has gone up over the years. Although different books have different prices, they all ended up being "increased". So for # 1 the singular perspective: The price of books has changed a great deal over the years is ok.

# 2 appears to have a boarder perspective toward the price increases of all books

3. Prices of books have changed ... I think a definitive article "the" is required in this context.
ladybird25The price of books has changed a great deal over the years."
Why is the "price" here in the singular?
It is singular because it is speaking of an average (or other measure) of one category (books), not specific individual books.

But compare with these:

Book prices have increased an average of 6% over the last year. (It must be plural if there is a noun modifier.)

The price of (the category of) books has increased an average of 6% over the last year but the price of (the category of) food has remained the same.

When you talk about prices of different categories, then it is plural:

Prices increase during periods of inflation and decrease during periods of deflation.

Regards,
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Thank you all for the detailed answers.

They helped a lot!