Weights and Measures

November 24, 2012 1:45 pm

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Weights and Measures
How tall are you? How much do you weigh? You can find out using weights and measures.
MEASURING LENGTH
Measurements of length tell how tall you are. The inch, foot, yard, and mile are units used for measuring length in the United States. This is called the English measurement system. There are 12 inches in a foot, and 3 feet in a yard. A mile is equal to 5,280 feet.
Other countries and all scientists and engineers use the metric system. The centimeter, meter, and kilometer are metric units for measuring length. The metric system is based on units that can be multiplied or divided by 10. A centimeter is one-hundredth of a meter. There are 1,000 meters in a kilometer.
You can measure how tall you are with inches and feet, or centimeters and meters. You also use feet or meters to tell how high a mountain or a building is. You measure longer distances with yards and miles, or meters and kilometers.
There are special units for measuring the length of certain things. For example, the furlong measures lengths in horse races.
MEASURING WEIGHT
If you live in the United States, you can tell how much you weigh using a system of ounces and pounds. There are 16 ounces in a pound. The ton is the measurement for very heavy things, like ships. A ton is 2,000 pounds! The metric system uses grams, kilograms, and metric tons. There are 1,000 grams in a kilogram, and 1,000 kilograms in a metric ton.
You also use weight measurements to tell how much food you are buying. You use ounces and pounds, or grams and kilograms, to weigh potatoes, carrots, meat, and other kinds of food.
There are special units for weighing other things. You use the carat to weigh diamonds and other gemstones. You use a different unit called the karat to measure the purity of gold.
MEASURING LIQUIDS
English units for measuring liquids are the teaspoon, tablespoon, fluid ounce, cup, pint, quart, and gallon. There are 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon, 2 tablespoons in a fluid ounce, 8 fluid ounces in a cup, 2 cups in a pint, 2 pints in a quart, and 4 quarts in a gallon. All those units can be a bit confusing! Metric liquid measurements are simpler. The most common metric units for liquids are milliliters and liters. There are 1,000 milliliters in a liter. You use the same units for all liquids from lemonade to gasoline.
The barrel is a special unit for liquids. It is used to measure large amounts of liquid such as oil. A barrel of oil has 42 gallons.
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