Generic: 2-D have area, 3-D have surface area
Think of a square and a cube
2 dimensional, 1 surface, so just area applies
3 dimensional, 6 surfaces, so surface area applies
Example: if you have a cube with sides 2cm long, what is the area of one side? and what is the surface area of the cube?
Area = side x side = (2cm)(2cm) = 4cm2
Surface area = (6)(side x side) = (6)(2cm)(2cm) = 24cm2