# Volume and surface area

The volume of a space figure is how much space it occupies. The volume of a container is how much it can hold; this is sometimes referred to as capacity rather than volume. The volume of space figures is often measured in cubic units.

### cubic unit

Each edge of each square face of a cubic unit measures 1 unit.

Examples

The volume of the rectangular prism pictured is 3 × 3 × 4 = 36.

Below are a couple examples of space figures along with the formulas for finding their volume.

In the metric system of measurement, cubic measurements include cubic centimeters (cm^{3}), cubic decimeters (dm^{3}), and cubic meters (m^{3}), among others. In the U.S. customary system of units, cubic measurements include cubic inches (in^{3}), cubic feet (ft^{3}), and cubic yards (yd^{3}).

When a container is used for holding liquids, its volume may be measured in units of capacity, such as cups, quarts, liters, and so on.

See also capacity, cubic unit.