In "... hacer la compra." could 'las compras' have been used instead?
Which is better?
"hacer la compra" is more commonly used than "hacer las compras".
Hacer la compra is referring to the usual daily/weekly shopping that everyone does. Hacer las compras would probably be referring to some specific shopping you need to do/you have in mind; maybe you've mentioned before that you had to buy a couple of things. If you use it in plural "tengo que hacer las compras" then you are referring to those couple of things you need to buy, instead of the more general daily/weekly shopping.
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