To get the best deal on Tutoring, call 1-855-666-7440 (Toll Free)

Basic Units of Measurement

For measuring some basic units like distance, weight, and liquid capacity, there are two main systems that are used. The first one is customary or standard units of measurement and the other is the metric system. Customary units of measure includes, inches, feet and miles which are used for the distance, and ounces, pounds, and tons which are used for measuring the weight. And the metric system is inclusive of the meters and kilometers for measuring the distance between two points, and grams and kilograms for finding the weight.

Related Calculators
How to Measure Frequency Measurement Calculator
Basic Math Calculator Basic Math Calculators

Metric System

Back to Top

Metric System:
In this system, units of measure are the multiples of 10, 100, and 1000. In other words, metric units of measure are based on decimals. Here, the meter is the basic unit of measurement. A meter is a little longer than one yard. The basic unit of liquid measure is the liter. A liter is about the same size as a quart. The basic unit of weight is the gram. A gram is used to find small weight such as the weight of tablets. A kilogram is the metric unit which is used to measure people’s weight.

The following are used in metric measurements. 

Base unit 
 1000x 100x 10x liter
 0.1x 0.01x 0.001x

The chart of the metric units of measure is as follows:
  Units of Measurement 

To change from one unit to another, we just have to move the decimal point.

  Convert Unit to Decimal 
For example, consider the above diagram for Volume: Amount of space occupied by a body.

The following figures also show the Density: Amount of mass per unit volume of a substance.

  Density of Substance 

Customary Units of measure:

The following chart represents the customary units of measurements:

 Customary Units of Measure
 Measures of Length
 1 foot (ft) = 12 inches (in.)
 1 yard (yd) = 36 inches
 1 yard (yd) = 3 feet
 1 mile (mi) = 5280 feet
 1 mile (mi) = 1760 yards
 Measures of Weight
 1 pound (lb)  = 16 ounces (oz)
 1 ton (T)  = 2000 pounds
 Liquid Measures
 1 pint (pt)  = 16 ounces (oz)
 1 cup  = 8 ounces
 1 pint   = 2 cups
 1 gallon (gal)  = 4 quarts
 1 quart (qt)  = 2 pints
 Measures of Time
 1 minute (min)  = 60 seconds (sec)
 1 hour (hr)  = 60 minutes
 1 day  = 24 hours
 1 week (wk)  = 7 days
 1 years (yr)  = 365 days / 366 days

Using Proportion to Convert Measurements:
We use proportion to change one unit of measure to another. Remember that the parts of a proportion must correspond.

Conversion between customary units of measure and metric units, can be done using the following chart.

 Units of Length
 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters 1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches 
 1 foot = 0.3048 meters 1 meter = 39.37 inches
 1 mile $\approx$ 1.6 kilometers 1 kilometer $\approx$ 0.62 miles
 Units of Weight
 1 pound $\approx$ 0.453 kilograms 1 kilogram $\approx$ 2.2 pounds

Scales, Meters, and Gauges:
A ruler is a geometrical tool meant basically to measure short distances. Ideally under conventional measures, the rulers are marked in inches, centimeters or even feet. 
There are specific rulers which use metric measures, and in such rulers the distances are marked in centimeters and meters. 
Moreover, the gauges are measuring tools mainly used for finding mileage, temperature of materials, speed of vehicle, electrical flow of current, blood pressure of human system, etc.

A 6-inch ruler is illustrated below.
A-6 Ruler Inches
Inch lines are the longest lines on the above ruler which are numbered as 1, 2 and so on. To read a length on a ruler we have to measure how far a point is to the right of zero.

The diagram below shows the dial of an instrument that measures amperes. An ampere is a unit of electric current. The dial is labeled from 0 to 50 with a small mark halfway between each number.
Measurement of Amperes
Solved Examples:
Example 1: Find the values of the following:
a)   8 tones 350 kg + 6 tones 740 kg
b)   13 kg 70 g – 4 kg 520 g
c)    720 g – (3/5) kg 
Units of Measurement Example

*AP and SAT are registered trademarks of the College Board.