Compound Shapes: How to Find the Area of an L-Shape

Area Of A Composite Shape Video

A compound shape is a shape that is made up from other simple shapes. In this article we will be working out the area of a L shape (made up from 2 rectangles). To find the area of a compound shape, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Work out the missing lengths around the edge of the compound shape.

Step 2: Divide your L shape into two rectangles. This can be done in 2 different ways (both methods will give the same answer).

Step 3: Work out the area of each rectangle. Do this by multiplying the base of the rectangle by the height of the rectangle.

Step 4: Add the areas of the rectangles together to give the total area of the L shape.

Example 1

Find the area of this compound shape (L shape).

Step 1

Work out the missing lengths around the edge of the compound shape.

10 – 6 = 4 cm

9 – 2 = 7 cm

Step 2

Divide your L shape into two rectangles.

In this case I have put the line horizontal.

Step 3

Now you need to find the area of the 2 rectangles:

The area of rectangle A is 10 × 2  = 20 cm²

The area of rectangle B is 4 × 7 = 28 cm²

Make sure you select the correct base and height lengths for each rectangle.

Step 4

All you need to do now is to add up the 2 answers from step 3.

20 + 28 = 48 cm².

So the total area of the compound shape is 48 cm².


Find the missing lengths around your L shape and divide the shape into 2 rectangles. Find the area of both rectangle and add them up to give the total area of the compound shape.

More by this Author

Comments 26 comments

vee 3 years ago

thnx i got it nw

matt 3 years ago

anyone know how calculate a 2 cm border around this?

Will the master of chess 3 years ago

the teacher was not as good as this

hameed khan 3 years ago

Good Process but long Process....

man 3 years ago

Cheers mate really helped

New new 3 years ago

Thxx but I already knew how to do it I just need to see if I was rite but u did hlp with it so thx for dat bye

isabella 3 years ago

THAN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I remember!!

shruti jain 4 years ago

thank u but i didn't get the perimeter of L !! so if someone knows it plzz tell!!!

x.x.x.Tabz.x.x.x 4 years ago

thx dat was a lot of help!!!

Princess Libyan 4 years ago

Thanks God I've done this homework good with this help!!!

Thanks lots!! ;)

khaay 4 years ago

Thamks a lot for your help ! ! doing my aims and i didn't know how to do this but now i do because of you ! : )

jessics 4 years ago

thank you!!!

danny 4 years ago

lots of help thanks :)

BROWNGURL 4 years ago

thes help a lot in my homework hu ever did thes web thakes a lot

adan 4 years ago

awsum dude i appreciate it

margaret 4 years ago

u r the beep in the whole universe

ninja girl 4 years ago

very helpful

hmmm 4 years ago

thanks i got 11 plus so that help's

queen 4 years ago

thx for help did th job

princess 4 years ago

lots of help for me !!!!!!!

miss bossy 4 years ago

this is very good help i think

gogoluvr224 5 years ago

plenty help!

guy 1000 in a million 5 years ago

lots of help

kool person 6 years ago

YAY!!!!!!! LoTs Of HeLp!

cool 6 years ago


sean 6 years ago

wonderful thank u for the help

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article