# Difference between lateral and total surface area

What is the difference between lateral and surface area?
If possible, some examples would be helpful.

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Lateral area is the area of the sides of a 3D geometric figure such as prism, cylinder or pyramid.
Surface area is the total area of the given figure (the sides of a 3D geometric figure + base area).

For example, if we have a cube, then its lateral area formula is $L=4a^2$ and surface area formula is $S=6a^2$, because we added two bases with area $a^2$.

Another example is with a cone. Lateral area is $L=\pi r l$ and total surface area is $S=\pi rl + \pi r^2$, because we added the base area of a cone $\pi r^2$.

Last time edited 2018-06-30

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