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Chapter 8—Measurements 83 Converting Between the U.S. Standard and Metric Systems The official system of measurement for most of the world today is the metric system. The United States and a couple smaller countries do not. Actually, the U.S. uses both the U.S. Customary system and the metric system. This is why it is important for people in the USA, and others who visit or do business with the United States, master the simple processes for converting between U.S. Customary and metric systems of measurement. Converting Lengths The most common length conversions are between:
Examples of Common Length Conversions
Examples & Exercses
Conversions are not always as tidy as those in the previous examples and exercises. For example, US Customary units of length are not always expressed in decimal forms — you are more likely to see 4^{1}/_{2} inches than 4.5 inches, and more likely to see 4' 3" than 4.25 ft. There is a trend toward using decimal values for US Customary units, but we have to know how to deal with both forms. The following examples deal with the lesstidy forms. Examples of More Complicated Length Conversions
So that's how you convert inches and feet to centimeters and meters. But what if you need to convert millimeters to inches or miles to kilometers? Naturally there are conversion factors for such conversions — for all possible combinations of conversions, in fact. People, however, don't like having to memorize so many different conversion factors. So we memorize a few of the most important conversion factors, then work out the other conversions whenever we need them. Suppose, for instance, you need to convert some number of millimeters to inches. You probably don't know the conversion factor for millimeters to inches, but you do know the conversion factor for centimeters to inches. It is listed just above this place on your screen. All you need to do is (1) convert the millimeters to centimeters (you know that conversion factor), and (2) use your cmtoinches conversion. Suppose you need to convert yards to meters, but you don't happen to know the conversion factors for yards and meters. However, you should know the conversion factors for feet and yards ( 3 ft/yd) and you should likewise know the conversion factor for feet and meters ( 3.28 ft/m). So you can convert yards to feet and then feet to meters. Examples: Problem 1: Convert 10 yards to meters
Ans. 10 yd = 9.15 m Problem 2: convert 32 cm to feet and inches
Examples & Exercses
Converting Capacities The most common capacity conversions are between:
Examples
Examples
But what about converting between units such as quarts and liters? Convert quarts to gallons, first. Then use the gallonstoliters conversion to get your answer.
Examples
Examples & Exercises
Converting Weights
Examples
Examples
Examples & Exercises


David L. Heiserman, Editor  Copyright © SweetHaven
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Revised: June 06, 2015