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A prism with perpendicular lateral faces and bases is a right prism. Otherwise, it is is called an oblique prism. The lateral faces of a prism can either be rectangles or parallelograms. In an oblique prism, at least one lateral face must be a parallelogram. In contrast, in a right prism, all lateral faces are rectangles.

Prisms can be categorized by the shape of their bases. For example, a prism with a triangular base is called a triangular prism. A rectangular prism, on the other hand, has a rectangular base.

The surface area of a prism is the sum of its lateral area and the area of the two bases.