Are you looking for different shape names in English? Here you will find a list of shapes with different types and useful example sentences. If you work in a business that requires the use of mathematics, for example then it would be very important that you are aware of the English names for shapes.

However, this may not be the only reason that you need to learn this information. When taking part in day-to-day conversations, you will need to learn the shape names in order to describe something or be able to understand what someone is talking about, for example, if a person tells you about ‘the square plate.’ Here, you can learn shape names and further expand your vocabulary.


What Are Shapes?

Shapes are geometric figures, or the pattern an outline falls into. Shapes are often drawn (whether by ink, pencil, or digitally), but they occur in life, also. Frequently, people picture 2D (two-dimensional, or flat) images when they hear the word “shapes,” so most of the objects listed in this lesson will be 2D shapes, but some will be 3D as well.

Different Types of Shapes

There are many, many different types of shapes, and there are names for basically all of them. The following list focuses on more common shapes that you’re more likely to encounter or to need or want to know the name of.

Two-Dimensional (Flat) Shapes

  • Circle: A circle is an equally round shape. Picture the lid of a jar, flat, from above. That is a circle. The wheels on a car are circular, as well. So are the holes in most lined paper and notebooks.
  • Oval: An oval is basically a circle that’s been a little squished. The cups of over-the-ear headphones are generally referred to as oval. So is the profile of an egg. Some make a distinction between circles that have been squished in the middle versus circles that have been squished at the top, the former being called an ellipse, but common usage treats both as ovals.
  • Rectangle: A rectangle is a shape with four sides, made up of two sets of parallel lines, with four right angles (90 degree angles; picture a capital L). It doesn’t matter whether the sets of sides are the same length. Picture a plain piece of printing paper. This is a rectangle, with one set of sides (generally the top and bottom) shorter than the other set of sides (generally the left and right).
  • Square: A square is a very specific type of rectangle, one with four equal sides. Some boxes have a square footprint. Origami paper is square.
  • Triangle: A triangle is a shape with three straight sides. These sides can be any length, with any degree of angle, as long as the three sides are joined at their ends. Many warning signs are triangular. A slice of a round pizza is mostly triangular (the crust is a little too rounded to be perfect).
  • Pentagon: A pentagon is a shape with five sides. A basic drawing of a house, with two lines for the roof, a line for each side, and a line for the bottom is generally a pentagon.

Shapes with more sides are generally named based on how many sides they have. A hexagon has six sides, heptagon has seven, and an octagon has eight.

Three-Dimensional Shapes

Three-dimensional shapes are ones that aren’t just flat on paper, but also take up room vertically. Only a few are really commonly named.

  • Sphere: A sphere is a 3D circle, like a ball.
  • Cube: A cube is a 3D square, like a box.
  • Pyramid: A pyramid is a 3D triangle. The giant structures in Egypt are pyramids, as is the Luxor in Las Vegas.

Shape Names

It’s important to build a good vocabulary, in any language. The more words you know and understand, the better you can communicate. Even if you don’t use the words often, understanding them allows you to follow along with a conversation, even if it ventures a little outside of your comfort zone. This lesson is specifically focused on different types of shapes.

List of Shapes

  • Nonagon
  • Octagon
  • Heptagon
  • Hexagon
  • Triangle
  • Scalene triangle
  • Right triangle
  • Parallelogram
  • Rhombus
  • Square
  • Pentagon
  • Circle
  • Oval
  • Heart
  • Cross
  • Arrow
  • Cube
  • Cylinder
  • Star
  • Crescent

Different Shape Names with Pictures and Examples


The math student measured each side of the nonagon until he had measurements for all nine edges.


The sectional shape is a quarter of an octagon.


The pagoda has a base of heptagon.


A hexagon is a six – sided figure.


The sum of all the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees.

Scalene triangle

A scalene triangle is a triangle that has three unequal sides.

Right triangle

The hypotenuse is the longest side of a right triangle.


A parallelogram is a shape with four sides that are parallel to each other.


A rhombus is a simple quadrilateral whose four sides all have the same length.


The interior angles of a square are right angles or angles of 90 degrees.


Draw a pentagon, a regular five-sided figure.


The students sit in a circle on the floor.


The shape of the earth is an oval.


The pool was in the shape of a heart.


The cross is the symbol of Christianity.


It flew straight as an arrow.


The box was cube-shaped.


The cylinder is rotated 180 degrees.


She cuts these paper into star-shaped.


He has a crescent–shaped knife.

Shapes | Picture

Learn different shapes with images to improve and expand your vocabulary, especially shapes and colors vocabulary words in English.

Shapes Names Video

There are shapes everywhere, and so references to them happen frequently. Hopefully, after this lesson, you’re feeling prepared to deal with shapes!

Two-Dimensional Shapes

Two-dimensional (2D) shapes are flat figures with two dimensions—length and width. They do not have any thickness and can be drawn on flat planes such as paper or a blackboard. Common types of 2D shapes include triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, and other polygons.


Triangles are polygonal shapes with three sides and three angles. They can be classified into several types based on side lengths and angles:

  • Equilateral triangle: all three sides are equal in length, and all angles measure 60 degrees.
  • Isosceles triangle: two sides are equal in length, and two angles are equal.
  • Scalene triangle: all three sides are different in length, and all three angles are different.

Triangles can also be classified based on angle measures:

  • Acute triangle: all three angles are less than 90 degrees.
  • Right triangle: one angle measures 90 degrees.
  • Obtuse triangle: one angle is greater than 90 degrees.


Quadrilaterals are polygonal shapes with four sides and four angles. Some common types of quadrilaterals include:

  • Square: all four sides are equal in length, and all angles measure 90 degrees.
  • Rectangle: opposite sides are equal in length, and all angles measure 90 degrees.
  • Parallelogram: opposite sides are equal in length and parallel, and opposite angles are equal.
  • Rhombus: all four sides are equal in length and opposite sides are parallel. Opposite angles are equal, but not necessarily 90 degrees.
  • Trapezium: one pair of opposite sides is parallel.
  • Kite: two pairs of adjacent sides are equal in length, with one pair of opposite angles equal.


A circle is a closed shape with a constant distance (radius) from its center to any point on its circumference. Circles have unique properties:

  • The diameter is twice the radius.
  • The circumference is the distance around the circle, calculated as 2π times the radius.
  • The area of a circle is the space enclosed by the circumference, calculated as π times the radius squared.

Other Polygons

In addition to triangles and quadrilaterals, several other polygonal shapes exist with varying numbers of sides:

  • Pentagon: five sides
  • Hexagon: six sides
  • Heptagon: seven sides
  • Octagon: eight sides
  • Nonagon: nine sides

These polygons can be regular, meaning all sides and angles are equal, or irregular, with varying side lengths and angles. Polygons with more than nine sides are generally referred to by their number of sides (e.g., decagon for 10 sides).

Three-Dimensional Shapes

Three-dimensional (3D) shapes are geometric forms that have length, width, and depth. They can be found all around us in our daily lives. This section will discuss some common 3D shapes, focusing on polyhedra, spheres and hemispheres, as well as cylinders and cones.


Polyhedra are 3D shapes with flat faces, straight edges, and vertices. Some examples of polyhedra include:

  • Cube: A solid with six square faces, 12 edges, and eight vertices. All faces and angles are congruent.
  • Cuboid: Also known as a rectangular prism, it has six rectangular faces, 12 edges, and eight vertices.
  • Pyramid: A solid with a polygonal base and triangular faces that meet at a single vertex. The number of faces depends on the base shape.

Spheres and Hemispheres

A sphere is a 3D shape with a curved surface and no edges or vertices. It is perfectly symmetrical, and every point on its surface is an equal distance from the center. Some common examples of spheres are globes or balls.

A hemisphere is half of a sphere, formed by cutting a sphere along a flat plane. It has a curved surface, and its base is a circle.

Cylinders and Cones

Cylinders are 3D shapes with two parallel, congruent circular or elliptical bases and a curved lateral surface that connects them. Some examples include cans or pipes. Cylinders can be divided into two types:

  • Right Cylinder: The bases are aligned directly above each other, and the axis between them is perpendicular to the bases.
  • Oblique Cylinder: The bases are not aligned directly above each other, and the axis is not perpendicular to the bases.

Cones are 3D shapes with one circular or elliptical base and a curved lateral surface that narrows and meets at a single vertex. Examples of cones can be found in party hats or funnels. Like cylinders, cones can also be right or oblique:

  • Right Cone: The axis between the base and the vertex is perpendicular to the base.
  • Oblique Cone: The axis between the base and the vertex is not perpendicular to the base.

Properties of Shapes

Vertices, Edges, and Faces

3D shapes such as cubes and cylinders have distinct attributes called vertices, edges, and faces. Vertices are corners where edges meet, while edges are the straight or curved lines that connect vertices. Faces are the flat or curved surfaces that make up the exterior of the shape. Here’s a quick breakdown for two common 3D shapes:


  • Vertices: 8
  • Edges: 12
  • Faces: 6


  • Vertices: 0
  • Edges: 2
  • Faces: 3 (2 circular, 1 curved rectangle)

Interior Angles

The angles formed by the sides of a polygon inside the shape are known as interior angles. The sum of the interior angles depends on the number of sides (n) in the polygon and can be calculated using the formula: (n - 2) × 180°. For instance, in triangles and quadrilaterals:

Triangle (3 sides):

  • Sum of Interior Angles: (3 - 2) × 180° = 180°

Quadrilateral (4 sides):

  • Sum of Interior Angles: (4 - 2) × 180° = 360°

Open and Closed Shapes

Shapes can also be classified as open or closed based on their structure. An open shape consists of line segments or curves that do not completely enclose a region, while a closed shape has a boundary that fully encloses an area. Examples include:

Open shapes:

  • Parabolic curve
  • Line segment
  • Arc of a circle

Closed shapes:

  • Circle
  • Triangle
  • Square

More Types of Shapes

Regular Shapes

Regular shapes are geometric figures with equal side lengths and equal angles. Some common regular shapes include:

  • Triangle: A polygon with three sides and three interior angles. There are several types of triangles:
    • Equilateral triangle: All sides and angles are equal.
    • Isosceles triangle: Two sides and two angles are equal.
    • Scalene triangle: All sides and angles are different.
  • Square: A four-sided polygon with all sides equal in length and all angles measuring 90 degrees.
  • Pentagon: A five-sided polygon with all sides and angles equal.
  • Hexagon: A six-sided polygon with all sides and angles equal.

Irregular Shapes

Irregular shapes are geometric figures that do not have equal side lengths or equal angles. Some common irregular shapes include:

  • Rectangle: A four-sided polygon with opposite sides equal in length and all angles measuring 90 degrees.
  • Parallelogram: A four-sided polygon with opposite sides parallel and equal in length. Opposite angles are equal.
  • Rhombus: A four-sided polygon with all sides equal in length, but angles are not necessarily 90 degrees.
  • Oval: An ellipse or an elongated circle with two different foci.

Other types of irregular shapes include polygons with varying side lengths and angles, such as heptagons (seven sides), octagons (eight sides), and nonagons (nine sides).

In addition to the two-dimensional shapes mentioned above, there are also three-dimensional shapes, which are referred to as geometric solids. Some common examples of geometric solids include:

  • Sphere: A perfectly round solid figure, where all points on the surface are equidistant from the center.
  • Cube: A solid figure with six equal square faces and all angles measuring 90 degrees.
  • Cylinder: A solid figure with two parallel, congruent circular bases connected by a curved lateral surface.

Understanding the different types of shapes is essential as it not only helps in identifying them but also in determining their properties, solving mathematical problems, and grasping various concepts related to geometry.

Shape Applications

Mathematics and Geometry Formulas

In mathematics, shapes play a crucial role in understanding various concepts and solving problems. Geometry, a branch of mathematics, deals with the study of shapes, sizes, positions, and properties of various objects. Some common geometry formulas include:

  • Area of a triangle: 0.5 * base * height
  • Circumference of a circle: 2 * pi * radius
  • Area of a rectangle: length * width

Shapes like triangles, rectangles, and circles are frequently used when solving real-world problems. For example, students use geometry formulas to solve problems in a variety of subjects, such as physics, engineering, and architecture.

Real-Life Objects

Shapes can be observed in many different real-life objects. Some of these objects include:

  • Book: a book is typically rectangular in shape, consisting of multiple pages bound together. The pages within the book are also rectangular, and the spine is often straight, resembling a vertical line segment.
  • Ball: Balls, such as the ones used in sports like basketball or soccer, are spherical in shape. This shape is a three-dimensional object with a curved surface and no edges or vertices.
  • Globe: A globe is an example of a spherical object that represents the Earth. It is used for geographical and educational purposes, providing a detailed representation of our planet’s surface.
  • Dice: Dice are commonly used in many games and activities. They are typically cubes with six faces, each face having a different number of dots representing the numbers one through six.
  • Moon: The moon is often considered to have a crescent shape when viewed from Earth at certain times. This crescent shape is formed due to the position of the moon, Earth, and the sun.
  • Arrow: An arrow is a geometric shape consisting of a straight line segment with a triangle attached to one end. Arrows are often used to represent direction, motion, or a connection between objects.
  • Star: A star is a polygon with multiple points, often five or more. Stars are prevalent geometrical shapes in our daily lives, representing various aspects of culture, such as religion, symbolism, and decoration.

By examining and understanding the shapes of real-life objects, we can better comprehend the importance of geometry and its applications in the world around us.

Shape Terminology

When discussing shapes and their properties, it is important to understand various terms used to describe them. This section will provide a brief overview of some common shape terminologies, focusing on triangles and parallelograms.


Triangles are three-sided polygons classified based on their side and angle properties. Here are some common types of triangles:

  • Isosceles Triangle: A triangle with at least two sides of equal length. The angles opposite these equal sides are also equal.
  • Scalene Triangle: A triangle with all sides having different lengths, and all internal angles being different.
  • Right Triangle: A triangle with one angle measuring 90 degrees (a right angle). This type of triangle follows the Pythagorean theorem, which states that the square of the length of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.
  • Equilateral Triangle: A triangle with all three sides being equal in length and having equal angle measures of 60 degrees.


Parallelograms are four-sided polygons with opposite sides parallel and equal in length. There are several types of parallelograms, including the following:

  • Rectangle: A parallelogram with all internal angles measuring 90 degrees.
  • Rhombus: A parallelogram with all sides having equal length and opposite angles being equal.
  • Square: A special case of both a rectangle and a rhombus, where all sides have equal length and all internal angles are 90 degrees.

A key property of parallelograms is the concept of height, which is the perpendicular distance between the base (one of the parallel sides) and the opposite side or vertex. Height is important for finding the area of a parallelogram.

In summary, the terminology of shapes revolves around their sides, angles, and properties such as height for parallelograms. Understanding these terms allows for a clear and confident discussion of geometric shapes in various contexts.

FAQs on Shapes

What are the basic types of shapes?

There are several basic types of shapes, which can be categorized into two groups: polygons and non-polygons. Some examples of polygons include triangles (3 sides), quadrilaterals (4 sides), and hexagons (6 sides). Non-polygons include circles, ellipses, and curves.

What is the difference between regular and irregular shapes?

  • Regular Shapes: These shapes have equal sides as well as equal angles. Examples include squares, circles, and equilateral triangles.
  • Irregular Shapes: These shapes have varying angles and sides. Examples include scalene triangles, rectangles, and pentagons with unequal sides.

Can you provide a brief description of some common shapes?

  • Triangle: A polygon with three sides and three interior angles.
  • Square: A quadrilateral with four equal sides and four right angles.
  • Rectangle: A quadrilateral with four right angles and opposite sides of equal length.
  • Circle: A non-polygon shape with a curved line forming a closed loop, with every point in the loop equidistant from its center.

How do you identify open and closed shapes?

  • Open Shapes: These shapes do not have a closed boundary, which means their sides do not connect completely. Examples include arcs and the letters C, L, M, S, U, V, and Z.
  • Closed Shapes: These shapes have a completely connected boundary, which means their sides connect to form a closed loop. Examples include polygons like triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles.

What is the relationship between a shape’s sides, vertices, and angles?

In polygons, the number of sides is equal to the number of vertices (corners) and the sum of the interior angles can be calculated by the formula (n-2) *180, where n is the number of sides.


Last Updated on May 13, 2023

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