Shapes

Shapes are mostly used in mathematics but are also used in English to describe the shape of objects and buildings (the Pentagon in the USA, the Pyramids in Egypt). e.g. It’s a square/rectangular/triangular shaped building.

Objects with many sides get their names from Greek numbers e.g. Pentagon (five), hexagon (six), octagon (eight)

Shapes are also used in certain expressions e.g. If something spirals out of control it means it is unmanageable.

Shape
Get into shape = get fit e.g. I’ve started going to the gym to get into shape.
In any shape or form = no matter what form something takes e.g. We accept money in any shape or form – paper, coins, cards etc.
In good shape = satisfactory or fit e.g. The furniture is in good shape so we won’t have a problem selling it.
In the shape of = in the form of e.g. I want my kitchen table to be in the shape of an oval.

Square
Be square
= dull e.g. Nobody wants to spend time with him as he’s square.
Go back to square one = return to the beginning e.g. The client doesn’t like the drawings so we have to go back to square one.
Square meal = sufficient e.g. We have three square meals a day and don’t eat snacks.
Fair and square = honest e.g. They won the competition, fair and square.

Circle
Go round in circles
= no progress e.g. I went round in circles trying to contact him but nobody knew where he was.
Square the circle = attempt the impossible e.g. They’re trying to square the circle and finish the project in two hours!
Vicious circle = a chain of problematic events e.g. We are caught up in a never ending vicious circle with our competitors.
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