How do I put articles and prepositions into the following expression, please?

A square with [a/the/nothing] side [of/with] [a/the/nothing] length [of/nothing] 42

In my native language (Slovak) it is common to use the genitive case in such situations, that's why "of" seems fine to me there.

What are the correct options here, please?

  • A square with a side with a length of 42. – CowperKettle Oct 31 '18 at 14:57
  • 2
    Perhaps personal taste, but I would not use "with a" twice. A square with a side of length ... or a 42 centimetre square. – djna Oct 31 '18 at 15:09
  • You can also say "A square with a 42 {unit of measure} side" for real-world situations, not math, where unit of measure is an irrelevancy. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 31 '18 at 20:20

Cowper Kettle's suggestion of

A square with a side with a length of 42

is fine, but since all the sides are of the same length, you can also say

A square with sides of length 42 (centimeters).


A square, 42 (centimeters) on each side.


A square, 42 (centimeters) per side.

Side note (pun intended): For rectangles, where you have to define the lengths of two sides, it would be common to say:

A rectangle, 24 by 42 centimeters.

or written as:

A 24x42 rectangle.

Here the "x" is the symbol for mathematical multiplication. When spoken you would say, "24 by 42", as in the previous example.


I would simply say "a 24-inch square".

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