A shelf is a place where things are stored or displayed. There are shelves (plural) in homes, in stores, in offices, and in schools.

  • Shoppers take merchandise off of a shelf when they go shopping.
  • Stores like to keep their shelves fully stocked. (fully stocked = not empty)
  • If a product is defective or contaminated, it’s pulled from the shelves. (pulled from = taken off)
  • To reach a high shelf, you might have to use a stool.
  • To get something off of a low shelf, a person might have to bend over or kneel.
  • A bookshelf is a place to keep books.
  • Towels are kept on a shelf in a bathroom.
  • We bought a shelving unit at Ikea for books and other things we keep inside our house.
  • I put up some shelves in my office in order to organize important documents, mail, and an assortment of projects.


He’s pulling a can off of the shelf.

The phrase "shelf life" is used in regards to products that remain in good quality, but only for a limited time.

  • Milk has a short shelf life.
  • Canned goods have a long shelf life.
  • Meat has to be frozen or used soon after purchase because it has a short shelf life.

Note: Some students have difficulty with the "v" sound, especially when an "s" sound comes after it. You can practice the "v" sound on this page.

Learn more vocabulary here.

Published on January 24, 2018