Gauge is not specific in pattern?

I am making my gauge swatch for Knitting Pure and Simple’s Neckdown Wrap Cardigan. For gauge, it says "18 stitches equal 4 inches"
I thought gauge should tell me how wide and how tall my gauge should be. Does this mean 4 inches wide should have 18 stitches wide? How do I know if my row gauge is accurate?
I appreciate the help!

Yes, you should have 4" over 18 sts, but cast on about 24 and don’t use the edge sts to measure, knit about 3-4" worth. Usually row gauge is not as important because most patterns will tell you to knit to a certain length, not how many rows. These are top down patterns and many knitters will tell you that row gauge is important there, but the designer must feel that if you get stitch gauge, you’ll be fine on the rows.

The other thing is – almost [I]no one[/I] gets both stitch and row gauge on any pattern, so don’t worry about it.

Fabulous! Thanks! With every project I learn more and get a little bit better.