The characteristics of the various types of B[e] stars are discussed and compared with those of classical Be stars. Both groups of stars are characterized by the presence of emission lines in their spectra, in particular of hydrogen. However, there are also significant differences between these classes. Classical Be stars lack hot circumstellar dust and strong forbidden low-excitation emission lines, which are typical characteristics produced by B[e]-type stars. While classical Be stars are a rather uniform group of early-type stars, B[e]-type stars form a quite heterogeneous group, very often of poorly known evolutionary status, comprising such diverse types of objects as near main-sequence objects, evolved lowmass proto-planetray nebulae and massive evolved hot supergiants. Even pre-main sequence Herbig Ae/Be stars sometimes find their way into the group of B[e] stars. However, despite these dissimilarities classical Be stars and B[e]-type stars, share a common property, namely the nonsphericity of their circumstellar envelopes.