Unit Statement

Identifies a unit of measure.


Usual construct

[ @SI [ prefix_type ] ] _
Unit unit_names [ = expression ]

Interval-scale construct

Unit unit_names ( parameter In unit ) = expression


Optional indication of an SI (metric) unit.
Optional after @SI, one of these identifiers:
  • BINARY – Gives these prefixes: kibi or Ki (2^10), mebi or Mi (2^20), gibi or Gi (2^30), tebi or Ti (2^40), pebi or Ti (2^50), exbi or Ei (2^60), zebi or Zi (2^70), yobi or Yi (2^80).
  • LARGE – Gives these prefixes: deca or deka or da (10^1), hecto or h (10^2), kilo or k (10^3), mega or M (10^6), giga or G (10^9), tera or T (10^12), peta or P (10^15), exa or E (10^18), zetta or Z (10^21), yotta or Y (10^24), ronna or R (10^27), quetta or Q (10^30).
  • SMALL – Gives these prefixes: deci or d (10^−1), centi or c (10^−2), milli or m (10^−3), micro or µ or μ or u (10^−6), nano or n (10^−9), pico or p (10^−12), femto or f (10^−15), atto or a (10^−18), zepto or z (10^−21), yocto or y (10^−24), ronto or r (10^−27), quecto or q (10^−30).

If not supplied, the default prefixes are those given by LARGE and small put together.

Mandatory one or more names with spaces between each. All names identify the same unit.

Unit name

[ number ] { name | name + suffix | prefix - name }
Mandatory basic name for a unit of measure.
One of the integer literals that follow:
  • 1name is irregular and grammatically singular. For example, «1 foot».
  • 2name is irregular and grammatically plural. For example, «2 feet».
  • 0name is grammatically singular for zero and one. This occurs in some languages, for example, French. You can use 0 (and no others) with suffix or prefix.
Mandatory after +. Identifies the regular plural suffix for name. For example, «metre+s» or «inch+es».
Mandatory before a hyphen (-). Identifies the regular plural prefix for name. This occurs in some languages, most frequently in Africa. For example, in Swahili, «ma-debe».
A conversion factor.
Optional in the usual construct.
Mandatory in the interval-scale construct.
Mandatory in the interval-scale construct. You use it with expression for a unit with an interval scale, for example, a unit of temperature.
A different unit that is related to this unit.




// Make meter, metres, kilometer, millimetres, m, km, mm ...
@SI Unit meter+s metre+s m

// Derived unit.
Unit light_year+s ly = 9.4605284 petameters

// in. is not permitted because IN is a keyword
// and a name cannot have a period,
// but you can write IN between backticks.
Unit inch+es `in` = 2.54 cm

// Kelvin cannot be plural.
Unit Kelvin K

// °C is not given because it is not easy to write.
// 1 makes a singular name and 2 makes a plural name.
// This is an interval-scale unit, thus the parameter k.
Unit Celsius 1 degree_C 2 degrees_C (k In Kelvin) = k + 273.15

// Make second, secs, milliseconds, s, ms, ...
@SI SMALL Unit second+s sec+s s

// Make byte, kibibytes, mebibyte, B, KiB, MiB, ...
// Does not permit Kilobyte, megabytes, KB, MB, ...
@SI BINARY Unit byte+s B

See also