Types of Tables Vocabulary

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Tables are everywhere, often going unnoticed despite their importance. In this article, you will learn the names of tables to appreciate their diversity and understand the various table types. 
Discovering Different Table Types Vocabulary in English.

General Vocabulary and Definitions

A table is a piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs, providing a level surface for various activities. From dining to studying to socializing, tables play an integral part in our everyday lives. But did you know there are different types of tables, each with its own name and distinct characteristics?

Types of Tables: Household and Personal Use

As you expand your English vocabulary, one area that's worth exploring is the names of tables we use every day at home. Understanding these can help you describe your environment more accurately and can come in handy in various conversations or writing tasks.

  • Dining tables: These are possibly the most common tables you'll encounter. They are used for eating meals. Varieties include rectangular, square, round, and extendable tables.
  • Coffee tables: Usually found in living rooms, coffee tables come in a variety of forms like oval, rectangular, round, and lift-top.
  • Console tables: Often placed against a wall or behind a sofa, console tables typically are rectangular but can also be half-moon shaped.
  • Dressing tables/Vanity tables: Designed for personal grooming, these can be found with or without mirrors and often include drawers. Varieties are often differentiated by style, such as contemporary, vintage, or rustic.
  • Nightstands/Bedside tables: These handy tables often come with drawers or shelves. They may be round, square, or even uniquely shaped to fit the bedroom's aesthetics.
  • Nesting Tables: These are a set of tables, usually two or three, that are designed to stack together when not in use. Each table is a different size, allowing them to nest under each other to save space neatly.
  • Bar Tables: These are typically taller than a standard dining table and are used in a home bar or kitchen setting. They're often paired with bar stools and can be round, square, or rectangular.
  • Foyer Tables: These are tables often placed in the entryway or foyer of a home, used for placing keys, mail, or decorative items. They can range from small console tables to larger, round tables depending on the size of the space.
  • TV Tray Tables: These small, portable tables are designed for individual use while watching television, often for holding snacks or meals. They're usually lightweight and foldable for easy storage.

Now that we've explored different table types in a household setting, you're equipped with a richer vocabulary to describe these everyday items. Remember, practice makes perfect, so try using these new terms in your conversations and writings!


Types of Tables: Office and Professional Use

Moving onto a more professional setting, the names of tables can get even more specialized. In an office environment or other professional contexts, understanding these terms will help you navigate and articulate your workspace better.

  • Desk tables/Office tables: These tables are often larger, designed for work. You'll find writing desks, computer desks, executive desks, and more.
  • Conference tables: Typically found in boardrooms, these large tables are generally oval or rectangular but may also come in unique shapes to facilitate conversation.
  • Drafting tables: Used for drawing or architectural work, these tables are adjustable in height and angle. Traditional and split-top are the two main types.
  • Cubicle Desks: These desks are part of a cubicle setup, designed to maximize space and privacy in an open office environment. The table portion is typically rectangular and accompanied by partitions.
  • Adjustable-Height Desks: Also known as sit-stand or standing desks, these tables can be adjusted to allow the user to either sit or stand while working, promoting better posture and health.
  • Credenza Desks: These desks are often placed against a wall and used in conjunction with a primary desk. Credenza desks have a broad flat surface and typically offer ample storage.
  • Corner Desks: Designed to fit into a corner, these desks usually have a triangular or L-shape, maximizing workspace while minimizing the area they occupy.
  • L-Shaped Desks: This type of desk consists of two rectangular pieces perpendicularly attached, forming an "L" shape. They offer extensive work surface and are often used in corner spaces.
  • U-Shaped Desks: These desks consist of three adjoining work surfaces, forming a "U" shape. They provide a large amount of workspace and are typically used in spacious offices.
  • Reception Desks: These tables are typically found in an office lobby or entrance, used by receptionists. They are often larger and taller than standard desks and may include a raised counter area for greeting guests.

Having learned these new terms for office and professional use tables, you're now better prepared to describe and understand workspaces.

Types of Tables: Specialized and Miscellaneous Use

These table types might not be as commonly used in daily conversation, but knowing them can significantly enhance your English vocabulary and could prove useful in specific contexts.

  • Pool tables/Billiard tables: These specialized tables are designed for cue sports and are typically rectangle-shaped with a smooth, cloth-covered surface.
  • Poker tables/Gaming tables: Designed for card games, these tables come in oval, rectangle, or octagonal shapes. Some versions are convertible for multiple types of games.
  • Picnic tables: Built for outdoor dining, these tables often have attached benches and come in rectangle, square, round, or octagonal shapes.
  • Folding Tables: These tables are designed to be easily collapsed for storage and transport. They're typically used in settings requiring temporary table space, like events or outdoor parties.
  • Camping Tables: These are lightweight and portable tables, often foldable, designed for outdoor use during camping trips.
  • Workbenches: Often found in workshops or garages, these sturdy tables are made for manual work. They often include features like tool storage and a durable top surface.
  • Massage Tables: These specialized tables are designed for spa and massage therapy. They typically feature a padded surface and an adjustable face cradle.
  • Examination Tables: Used in healthcare settings, these tables are designed for patient examination. They may include adjustable sections for different patient positions and storage for medical supplies.
  • Operating Tables: Found in surgical rooms, these tables are highly adjustable to facilitate different types of surgeries and to accommodate various medical equipment.
  • Sewing Tables: These tables, designed for sewing activities, often include features like a recessed platform for a sewing machine and storage for sewing supplies.

In wrapping up this exploration of specialized and miscellaneous tables, you've added some unique terms to your vocabulary. Don't be surprised if these words turn out to be conversation starters, showing off your wide-ranging knowledge of English. 


From the names of tables in your home to tables you see in a different cultural context, every table has a story and purpose. Understanding the different table types enriches your vocabulary and allows you to appreciate these seemingly mundane objects better. As an English learner, recognizing these tables names can also enhance your communication skills, whether you're describing your ideal living room setup or discussing office furniture.

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Katie SharpDec 5th, 2023