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Converting imperial measurements to metric

© Joe Shlabotnik (Flickr) Calculators
© Joe Shlabotnik (Flickr)

Useful conversion factors

The UK still uses miles not kilometres, many people still think in degrees fahrenheit rather than centigrade, and weights are still sometimes given in pounds rather than kilograms.

There are other common examples of this issue in everyday life. So it is a good idea to have a few conversion factors at your fingertips, as it were. Here are some of the most useful ones…

A kilometre is about five-eighths of a mile
To convert from centigrade to fahrenheit, multiply by 9, divide by 5, then add 32.
A kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds
A gallon of petrol is about 4.5 litres
An inch is 2.5 centimetres
An ounce is about 25 grams

These are conversion factors which are useful to remember, as they need to be used quite a lot. But what about the lesser-used ones?

Where to find less common conversion factors

Many diaries have conversion factors in the back of them, along with information of holidays and similar useful facts. However, with modern technology there are easier methods…

It is possible to buy metric converion calculators. These allow you to put in the number you want to convert, then find the equivalent at the press of a button.

Many websites will perform metric to imperial conversions and vice-versa. Any search engine will find them.

There is now at least one iPhone app for conversions. This is especially useful for the more unusual conversions, such as for power, pressure, and energy. You may not need these very often, but it’s good to know where to be able to find them!

So…conversions need no longer be a major problem!

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