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How Do You Convert Metric to Imperial?

When you convert metric units to imperial units, you need to multiply each unit by a conversion factor. This entry will give you an overview of which conversion factor to use and which imperial unit it will produce.

Length

For length you usually convert centimeters to inches or feet, decimeters to feet, meters to feet or yards and kilometers to miles.




Metric Unit

Conversion Factor

Imperial Unit




1 cm

0.3937

0.3937in 0.4in




1 dm

0.3280

0.3280ft 0.33ft




1 m

1.0936

1.0936yd 1.1yd




1 km

0.6214

0.6214mi 0.6mi




Example 1

A European soccer field is exactly 105 meters. How long is that in yards?

You find the conversion factor from the table above to be 1.0936:

105m 1.0936 114.8yd.

Area

For area you usually convert square centimeters to square inches, square decimeters to square feet, square meters to square yards or acres and square kilometers to square miles.




Metric Unit

Conversion Factor

Imperial Unit




1 cm2

0.1550

0.1550in2 0.16in2




1 dm2

929

929ft2 0.09ft2




1 m2

1.1960

1.1960yd2 1.2yd2




1 km2

247.1

247.1acre 250acre




1 km2

0.3861

0.3861mi2 0.4mi2




Example 2

Your farm is 175 meters long and 155 meters wide. How many acres is that?

Square meters:

175m 155m = 27125m2.

The table converts from km2 to acre, so you need to convert to km2 first:

27125m2 1000000 0.02713km2.

Then you use the table above to convert to acres:

0.02713km2 247.1 6.7acres.

Volume

For volume you usually convert milliliters to fluid ounces, deciliters to cups and liters to pints or gallons. How much a cup contains varies from country to country. In this entry we use the US cup.




Metric Unit

Conversion Factor

Imperial Unit




1 mL

0.0338

0.0338fl oz 0.03fl oz




1 dL

3.381

3.381fl oz 3.4fl oz




1 dL

0.4227

0.4227cup 0.4cup




1 L

0.26417

0.26417gal 0.3gal




Example 3

You visit Australia and discover that a single shot glass there has a volume of 30mL. How much is that in fluid ounces?

You need to find out how many fluid ounces 30 mL is:

30mL 0.0338 1.014fl oz 1fl oz.

Seems like one fluid ounce is one shot.

Weight

Grams are usually converted to ounces, kilograms to pounds and metric tonne to ton.




Metric Unit

Conversion Factor

Imperial Unit




1 g

0.03527

0.03527oz 0.04oz




1 kg

2.2056

2.2056lb 2.2lb




1 tonne

1.1023

1.1023ton 1.1ton




Example 4

You visit a fitness center in the USA. You know you can safely bench press 50kg, but how much is that in pounds?

The table above gives

50kg 2.2056 110.3lb.

So, don’t go over 110 lb unless you have a spotter.

Mass Density

Since density consist of two units, you can convert each of them separately and then combine them. Density in metric is often given by g/cm3 while imperial uses lb/ft3. You can convert g/cm3 to lb/ft3 by first converting grams to pounds and then centimeters to feet. One centimeter is 0.0328 feet, so one cubed centimeter is 0.03283 = 0.0000353ft3: 1g = 0.002205lb 1cm3 = 0.0000353ft3 1g/cm3 = 0.002205lb 0.0000353ft3 62.5lb/ft3.

Rule

You convert from g/cm3 to lb/ft3 by multiplying g/cm3 with 62.5.

Temperature

The US uses Fahrenheit while most other countries uses Celsius. Unlike most other units, you cannot multiply Celsius with a conversion factor to get Fahrenheit. Instead, you have to use this simple formula:

Formula

°C is temperature measured in Celsius and °F is temperature measured in Fahrenheit.

°F = 1.8 °C + 32

Example 5

On a cold winter’s day, it’s 28°C outside. What is that in Fahrenheit?

You use the above formula:

1.8 (28°C) + 32 = 50.4 + 32 = 18.4°F.
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How Do You Convert Imperial to Metric?