so my problem is which phrase is correct
this one: "Donuts, work of art"
or this one: "Donuts, works of art"

These are meant to be one sentence ... what it means is that these donuts are so satisfying. My problem is with the plural of the word "works" should it be "work" or "works"

I want to use the phrase in more poetic manner like figure of speech i want the reader of the phrase to make his/hers own jugment about the donuts ... but i would like to emphasize the fact that the donuts are pleasing to your tongue like the artwork is pleasing to the eye.

  • 5
    It's very difficult to tell without more context. How are you using this phrase? Can you give us an entire sentence?
    – stangdon
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 14:31
  • @akman you have proposed a couple of changes to the question that appear to add new information to the question. Are you the same person as Giannis, posting from a different account? If not, you should ask your own question.
    – Adam
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


Conceivably, you could use either one.

If you say: These donuts are works of art.

that means each individual donut is a work of art.

However, if you say: The donuts are a work of art.

that means the donuts (collectively, perhaps in box of 12) look like a work of art.

enter image description here
The key question: Is this one work of art? Or twelve works of art?

By the way, the phrase work(s) of art would generally refer to how the donuts look, not to how satisfying they are. If you want to talk about taste and satisfaction, you could use the similar term masterpiece: This donut is a masterpiece!. The word is defined at Dictionary.com as:

masterpiece (n.)
1. a person's greatest piece of work, as in an art.
2. anything done with masterly skill: a masterpiece of improvisation.
3. a consummate example of skill or excellence of any kind: The chef's cake was a masterpiece.

whereas work of art is defined as:

work of art (n.)
1. a piece of creative work in the arts, especially a painting or sculpture.
2. a product that gives aesthetic pleasure and that can be judged separately from any utilitarian considerations.

That part about "aesthetic pleasure" is a key part of the definition, I think.

  • +1 for this comprehensive answer, but I disagree about "art" and "aesthetic" referring to visual arts only. I agree with the definition in that this is especially used for paintings and sculptures, but non-visual things like music can also be art. Describing (the taste of) a donut as art is arguably figurative.
    – Era
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 16:13
  • @Era - You might be right; I might be getting a bit too restrictive here. Good points. That said, aesthetics refers to "the beautiful, the sublime, etc., as applicable to the fine arts," so I'm in complete agreement with you: a symphony can be a work of art just as easily as a painting. I'm glad you pointed that out. (In the context of donuts as works of art, though, I suppose that could refer to taste, but I generally imagine work-of-art donuts to be beautiful, more so than delicious.)
    – J.R.
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 16:53

Both "work" and "works" could be used correctly to give the meaning you intend, but with the structure of the examples, option 2 is correct.

It should be noted, however, that your examples are not sentences- they lack a verb.

Your examples seem to be shortened versions of:

Donuts are works of art.

So, it can be seen that "works" should be used. "Donuts are work of art" is not correct.

However, you could say "Donuts are a work of art" and have a very similar meaning.

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