Collocations With The Word Shape

Collocations are words that usually go together in English.

Here we are going to look at words that go with the word 'shape' to make useful and popular expressions you will hear in social and professional contexts.

Shape the narrative

A narrative is a story.  If you shape a narrative you have control over how the story is told.


  • Businesses can use social media to shape the narrative of the story, that they wish to present to their customers.
  • If we hire a PR expert, they may help us shape the narrative to spin this story into something positive.
  • The introduction of the mother character in the middle of the story really helped to shape the narrative of the character's journey.

Shape (an/the) idea

When you shape an idea it means the way you present or articulate your idea to someone.


  • If you give me more time I might have a solution, I'm beginning to shape an idea.
  • We should put a committee together to shape an idea of what skills we would like the new addition to our company to have.
  • Firstly you need to shape an idea,  construct a hypothesis and then begin to test it under scientific condition.

Shape the future

To shape the future means to influence the way that the future develops.


  • The way we address climate change now will shape the future forever.
  • We would like to welcome our new CEO who has as many ideas on how to shape the future of the company.
  • Excellent teachers help to shape the future of young people's mind.
  • The new President vowed in his address to shape the future of his country.

(Blurred/vague) shape 

A blurred or vague shape is a shape or figure that is not easy to focus on or clear to make out. 


  • I woke up from my nightmare to see a blurred shape at the end of my bed.
  • I got the fright of my life when I saw a blurred shape in the garden late at night.
  • I saw a vague shape on the road when I was turning the corner. I am glad I slowed down because it turned out to be a deer.

Ghostly shape

A ghostly shape is a vision that appears like a spirit or something ethereal or otherworldly.


  • There had been strange reports of a ghostly shape in the building after dark.
  • Rumour has it that if you say in room 20 of the hotel, a ghostly shape appears by the door on the stroke of midnight.
  • I saw a ghostly shape outside my window and if frightened the life out of me.  It was just my brother wearing a mask to scare me.

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