I know 単位 can indicate unit of measurement, but I can't really understand what does it adds, and if it's needed or something extra; I also tried on Weblio, but while I understand the definition, I don't really understand its usage.

Here's an example; as context, an alien is approaching the spaceship, and the commander asks about its distance; the answer is:


What I don't understand is: would the sentence be grammatical also without 単位, like "あと9000キロです"? If yes, what does it add? If not, is there any case in which removing it is right? I think for example about the title "いつだって僕らの恋は10センチだった".

  • 2
    Well, what little context you gave sounds like part of a work of science fiction. It seems to me キロ単位 is used instead of キロ because together as a compound it is a fictional unit of measurement. Usually when you say Aキロ単位, you mean everything is calculated based on Aキロ or by the Aキロ.
    – Eddie Kal
    Feb 28, 2022 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


This website says a manga uses キロ単位 in the literal sense: 1000 x unit length, where there is no indication of what the unit length is. In this particular manga, キロ単位 seems different from km. So 9000キロです is of course grammatical, but would mean the usual 9000km.

I don't think it is common to use キロ this way. (I knew the manga, but never really thought what exactly it meant.)

In terms of ordinary usage, 1キロ単位 would be used like 1キロ単位で売る=sell by the kilo (that is, it is not possible to buy 1500g for example).

Another usage which is kind of similar is 単位当たり=per unit. This 単位 means a unit, which can be different depending on the context.

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