Describe Things Using 3D Shapes


When you describe things it can be very useful to use shape vocabulary. Flat shapes such as square and circle are used as loanwords in a lot of languages but 3D shapes are not as common.

Click to see the graphic in a larger size.

You could describe a building by saying ‘It looks like a tube.’ However, sometimes you may want to sound more formal or technical. In this case, saying ‘It is cylindrical,’ would be better.

The grammar rule is:

It is a (shape name).
It is (shape adjective).

One thing that I didn’t include in the graphic was ‘cuboid’, which is like a cube but with two sets of equal sides (like a rectangular, irregular ‘cube’).


The server is the large cuboid computer. The small cubic thing is the router.

The difference between a wizard and a magician is wizards casts spells and wear conical hats whereas magicians perform tricks and wear cylindrical hats.