German Language Blog

German Vocabulary Shapes Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 in Language, Uncategorized

Sometimes it’s the most simplest of words that you don’t know in a different language, I found myself the other day wondering what a rectangle was in German – which inspired me to write this post! Here’s some easy vocabulary about shapes in German.

Let’s start with the basics:

Shape(s)                                die Form(en)
Circle                                     der Kreis
Semi circle                    der Halbkreis (literal translation is “the half circle”, an easy one to remember!)
Square                                   das Viereck OR das Quadrat
Triangle                                das Dreieck
Rectangle                             das Rechteck

Four shapes that are exactly the same as in English (so you don’t have to learn anything new):

Rhombus                       der Rhombus

Trapezoid                       das Trapezoid

Oval                                 das Oval

Trapez                             das Trapez

Note that square and triangle always have “eck” at the end of the word. Eck means corner. So if any shape has a corner you can guess that it ends in eck!

These shapes are easier to remember in German as the number changes and then you just add the eck on the end:

Triangle                das Dreieck
Square                   das Viereck
Pentagon               das Fünfeck
Hexagon                 das Sechseck
Heptagon               das Siebeneck
Octagon                 das Achteck
Nonagon                das Neuneck
Decagon                das Zehneck

Different types of triangles:

Equilateral (All sides are the same length)                           gleichseitiges Dreieck
Right triangles  (There is one right angle)                             rechtwinkliges Dreieck
Iscoceles triangles (Two sides are the same length)             unregelmäßiges Dreieck

Photo by Liam Keane on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

3D Shapes
Cube                                  der Würfel
Pyramid                           die Pyramide
Cylinder                            der Zylinder
Ball                                    die Kugel
Cone                                 der Kegel
Prism                                das Prisma
Rectangular prism        der Quader

Sometimes it’s nice when German is so literal, as it makes it easier to remember. I actually needed a reminder what some of the shapes were called in English once they had more than eight sides! Let me know if you have any other shapes which you don’t know in German.



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About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


  1. Karen:

    Hallo Larissa!

    Danke für that post on an unusual but interesting lesson 🙂

  2. Constanze:

    I love it!!!!!!!

  3. Etienne:

    Hallo Larissa,

    thank you for this post, it’s really useful.

    However i noticed two little mistakes:
    a equilateral triangle has his 3 sides of the same length
    a isocele has two sides of the same length

    Danke noch

    • Larissa:

      @Etienne Woops thank you! I was getting confused at all the triangles, I’ll update the post now 🙂


  4. Stephen:

    An isosceles triangle has two sides that are the same length. A triangle with no equal sides is called a scalene triangle.

  5. Sally:

    Thanks for this post! How about including “point, line, & curve” and / or “angle & side” vocabulary so we can talk about these shapes?

  6. Lisa Gorrell:

    Shouldn’t a Nonagon be das Neuneck? It has nine sides.

    • Larissa:

      @Lisa Gorrell Good that you spotted this! I didn’t mean for it to be a “neineck” – a “no corner” haha 🙂

      Thanks for reading,