the price of/for: which preposition to use here?

Macunaíma

Senior Member
português, Brasil
The extracts below are from a news report published on the BBC World website:

"Prices for important food and industrial raw materials are falling on world markets"

"Workers have seen their earnings eroded by higher prices for food and manufactured goods"

I was a little puzzled by the use of the preposition for after the noun price here. I had always seen and used "the price of something" and not "the price for something", unless the phrase is preceeded by a verb that required the preposition for, as in "to pay a price for something".

I'm aware that this may be a little petty, but I'd really like to know whether there is a difference in meaning and if the effect would have been the same had the author chosen to use the preposition of in the examples above.

Macunaíma
 
  • Kevman

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I think in the constructions with for there is an implied past participle:

    Prices [paid] for important food and industrial raw materials are falling on world markets

    Workers have seen their earnings eroded by higher prices [paid] for food and manufactured goods

    The sentences don't sound quite as good, though, if the participle is explicitly included.
     

    Macunaíma

    Senior Member
    português, Brasil
    I think in the constructions with for there is an implied past participle:
    Prices [paid] for important food and industrial raw materials are falling on world markets
    It's very reassuring to have a suspicion confirmed by a native speaker. I also had thought there might be an ellipsis there, as none of the learner's dictionaries I checked gave for as a collocate for the noun price.

    Thank you, Kevman.
     

    Saratoga

    Senior Member
    usa english
    I hate to muddy the waters here, but I think "price of" and "price for" are both normal, with no implication of an omitted past participle.

    I just did a quick Google search and found 121,000,000 hits for "price of" and 61,000,000 hits for "price for". So the first option is twice as common, but I think both are good.
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    I think in the constructions with for there is an implied past participle:

    Prices [paid] for important food and industrial raw materials are falling on world markets

    Workers have seen their earnings eroded by higher prices [paid] for food and manufactured goods

    The sentences don't sound quite as good, though, if the participle is explicitly included.
    I agree. There are many contexts where 'price for' would be correct.

    People are currently having to pay a much higher price for gasoline than a year ago.

    But obviously the 'pay' factor plays an important part.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    These sentences are referring not to the static, characteristic value prices of the goods but to the prices paid by the buyers and demanded by the sellers in exchange for the goods, prices which fluctuate with the vagaries of the market.
     
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