Square Meters vs Meters Squared
Meter is a unit of measurement of length in the SI system and when we require calculating the area of a square or rectangle, we use square meters as units. The confusion arises when we see meters squared written or spoken. People cannot make out the difference between square meters and meters squared and treat them as equal which is incorrect. This article will explain the difference between the two units so that readers may better understand the two concepts.
If a room is square in shape and is 2 meters in length as well as in breath, one can easily calculate its area with this formula
Area= Length x Breath
2 meters x 2 meters
4 square meters
Some people make the mistake of writing this area as meters squared which assumes altogether another meaning. In this example, if you write it as 4 meters squared, it means you wish to say 4 x4 which is 16 square meters and not 4 square meters. So it is a matter of incorrect usage of words that can make your answer totally wrong.
So if someone asks you the area of the room mentioned above, you can say that the area is 2 meters squared or you can say that the area is 4 square meters both of which are correct answers. The confusion arises as 1m x 1m= 1 square meters while 1 meter squared is also same. But in all other cases, square meters are entirely different than meters squared and hence one should be careful when using either of the two terms.
Square Meters vs Meters Squared • Square meters and meters squared are two entirely different concepts though both represent area of a place. • Whereas a square meter is the correct unit of area under SI system, meters squared is rarely used.

Aneek mandal says
Very nicely shown the difference between square metre and metre square
Dave Chatters says
Yes most of us understand this but many organizations use the symbol 4 M2 to mean, 4 square meter when it really means 4 meters square or 4 x 4 = 16 square meters
Mrs Physics says
No 4 m2 is the correct unit of area and is said as 4 square metres. That would be an area of 4m x 1m or 2m x 2m etc. The problem is people don’t translate the written 4 m2 as 4 square metres
John Cooper says
Thanks for the clarification. I nearly always get strange answers when asking trying to work out the problems of others and wondered if the “metres squared” had been phased out..
Lesley says
My kitchen is 3m x 5m and the vinyl I want to buy is 14.99 per metre squared. I’ve no idea how to work out the correct price. Help!
Mrs Physics says
Square metre is written correctly as m2. That is the SI unit of area.