Conversion Chart

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METRIC vs IMPERIAL SYSTEM

 

Most nations use the metric system (meters, kilograms) as a system of measurements unlike Britain and Canada which use the imperial system. The imperial system is also known as British Imperial and it has been in use in the British Isles since 1824 with some adjustments and changes. What this means is that length, weight, temperature, area and volume are all measured in different units to the metric system. For example, with the metric system, units of weight are measured in grams whereas with the imperial system that would be pounds (not to confuse with currency same word different meaning). Despite the metric system being the official system, the imperial system is very often and commonly used.

Shops must display metric units, which means, the sign will commonly show the price per pound but also per kilogram. This mostly applies to produce (fruit and vegetables). British people more often than not refer to the imperial system.

It can be very confusing for someone who is used to the metric system. Just as you may struggle converting inches into centimeters,  you should expect some British people to struggle converting measurements into the metric system. The best way is to meet in the middle and familiarise yourself with the most commonly used units, so that you know your way around when needed.


TIP

Learn know how to express YOUR WEIGHT and HEIGHT in both systems.


British recipes will also use ounces, fluid ounces, pints and pounds. Every unit has its abbreviation that is commonly used and it is a good idea to be able to recognise these.

video courtesy of ‘Learn English with Gill (EngVid)’ via ‘YouTube’

To help you get round this you can download a metric conversion app or use other online tools that will convert metric to imperial and vice versa instantly. You could also purchase a special calculator if needed.

 

 

Conversion chart of the most commonly used measurements:

Metric To Imperial

1 millimetre = 0.04 inch

1 centimetre = 0.4 inch

1 metre = 3 feet 3 inches

1 kilometre = 0.6 mile

1 gram = 0.004 ounce

1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds

Imperial To Metric

1 inch = 2.5 centimetres

1 foot = 30 centimetres

1 mile = 1.6 kilometres

1 ounce = 28 grams

1 pound = 454 grams

1 pint = 0.6 litre

1 gallon = 4.6 litres

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