A shell is a particular "window" within which commands can be issued
to the Linux system, and those commands will be executed from within that
shell, and associated with that particular metaphorical window. Each user
logs in to a specific shell, and multiple logins create mulitple shells.
Shells are called shells because they are an interface between the user
and the kernel, translating the user's comands to
something that the kernel can understand, and translating the kernel's
response to the user into something that the user can understand.
Since shells don't always speak the same "language, there are various
types of shells for various purposes. The default Linux user shell is bash. Other shells installed with the Linux system are
tcsh and ash.