How to Talk about Dimensions in Spanish
Whether it’s calculating the measurements of a wall or reading the instructions for building your new dresser, knowing how to read and understand measurements in Spanish is fundamental.
In this article, we’ll show you the primary vocabulary associated with calculating dimensions, or las dimensiones, and we’ll also explain the major differences in the way dimensions are measured in the U.S. and the Spanish-speaking world.
Length, Width, and Height
Before you are able to calculate the dimensions of anything, there’s a lot of fundamental vocabulary to learn. Below, take a gander at a list of the most essential words you should learn to calculate something’s dimensions.
|height (of a person)|
|to draw (such as a line between two points)|
Now that you have a list of fundamental vocabulary at your fingertips, let’s take a look at a couple of examples for how we might use this vocabulary.
When calculating the area or volume of any espacio tridimensional, or three-dimensional space, you’ll need to know how to translate the notation for expressing square or cubic measurements. Make sure to use cuadrado when referring to area and cúbico when referring to volume.
Inches to Meters
The United States uses a very specific system of measurements (called the American System) different from el sístema métrico, or the Metric System, which is used by the rest of the world, including Spanish-speaking countries. That means that when calculating the dimensions of any object in the Spanish-speaking world, you’ll want to look at the other side of your ruler, the side that shows you milímetros and centímetros, millimeters and centimeters. Check out the tables below to help you with all of your conversions!
|millimeter||1/1,000th of a meter or .039 inches|
|centimeter||1/100th of a meter or .39 inches|
|meter||39 inches or 3.2 feet|
|kilometer||1,000 meters or .62 miles|
|foot||.3 meters or 12 inches|
|yard||.91 meters or 3 feet|
|mile||1.6 kilometers or 5,280 feet|
1x1, 2x2, 3x3...
When talking about the dimensions in length, width, or height of any object or space, we usually use the word by as the verbal substitution for the x between units of measurement. In Spanish, one would use the word por instead of by as the verbal substitution for x.