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Index  »  Dev Resources  »  U.S. customary weights and measures

U.S. customary weights and measures incovenient forever?

Author: Jarmila F. Nguyen | Section: Dev Resources | Date: 2003-06-03

Though I have been using U.S. weights and measures daily for five years now, I am still not used to them. I feel like I need a calculator every time I watch a weather forecast to really get an idea of what to wear, or when I go to buy a small amount of a deli product to ask for the right amount. Performance of our garage door opener is rated in horsepower. When I am sick I have to think hard if a temperature of 103 degrees F is too high or not.

As a mathematics teacher I can see how difficult it is for American students to remember equivalences between U.S. weights and measures. I think they would be delighted to work with the metric system only.

You may find the following overview useful to get an idea of the most used U.S. customary units.

Linear measures

1 foot [ft]=12 inches [in]
1 yard [yd]=3 feet
1 land mile= 5,280 feet

Liquid measures

1 gallon [gal]=4 quart [qt]
1 quart [qt]=2 pints
=32 fluid ounces [fl. oz]
1 fluid ounce=8 fluid drams
1 gallon=16 cups
1 cup=8 fluid ounces
1 tablespoon=3 teaspoon
=0.5 fluid ounces
1 teaspoon=1.33 fluid drams

Weight measures

1 pound [lb]=16 ounces [oz]
=7,000 grains
1 carat=3.09 grains

Temperature measures

temperature of freezing water=0 degrees Celsius
=32 degrees Fahrenheit
temperature of  boiling water=100 degrees Celsius
=212 degrees Fahrenheit

Conversions

Isn't it much easier to remember relations between units of the metric system where multiples of power of ten simplify the process?

Here is an approximate guide for you to make U.S. Standard /~Metric conversions:

centimeterx2.54=inch
meterx0.3=foot
 x0.9=yard
kilometerx1.6=mile
literx0.9=quart
 x3.79=gallon
cubic meterx0.004=gallon
gramx28.3=ounce
milligramx200=carat
kilogramx0.45=pound
degree Celsiusx5/9=degree Fahrenheit
kilowattx0.7=horsepower

As I deal with these conversions on daily basis, I wish all countries would begin to use the same convenient Metric system of units.

Jarmila F. Nguyen

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