Grammar Guide
Vocabulary
How to Talk about Dimensions in Spanish

How to Talk about Dimensions in Spanish

Quick Answer

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.

SpanishEnglish
largo
length
longitud
length
ancho
width
anchura
width
altura
height
estatura
height (of a person)
punto
point
línea
line
ángulo
angle
ángulo recto
right angle
perímetro
perimeter
circunferencia
circumference
área
area
volumen
volume
bidimensional
two-dimensional
tridimensional
three-dimensional
medida
measurement
trazar
to draw (such as a line between two points)
medir
to measure
regla
ruler
cinta métrica
tape measure

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.

Pásame la cinta métrica, por favor. Necesito medir la longitud de la mesa antes de comprar el mantel.
Pass me the tape measure, please. I need to measure the length of the table before buying the tablecloth.
Usa la regla para trazar una línea en la pared después de haber calculado su largo y ancho.
Use the ruler to draw a line on the wall after having calculated its length and width.

Three-Dimensional Notation

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.

SpanishEnglishShorthand notation

cuarenta y dos metros cuadrados

forty-two square meters42m2, 42m²

cuarenta y dos metros cúbicos

forty-two cubic meters42m3, 42m³

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!

Metric System

SpanishEnglishConverts to
milímetro
millimeter1/1,000th of a meter or .039 inches
centímetro
centimeter1/100th of a meter or .39 inches
metro
meter39 inches or 3.2 feet
kilómetro
kilometer1,000 meters or .62 miles

American System

SpanishEnglishConverts to
pulgada
inch2.54 centimeters
pie
foot.3 meters or 12 inches
yarda
yard.91 meters or 3 feet
milla
mile1.6 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.

SpanishEnglishNotation

cuatro por cuatro

four by four4x4

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