Converting Between English and Metric Units

Using both metric and English units, and being able to convert between them, is critical to your work in Electric and Hybrid Vehicles – both academically in your automotive, electronics, and mathematics courses, and on the job as a foundational skill. This lesson reviews the two systems and provides helpful practice in working with them. Watch the tutorial below, review the example, then use the conversion chart provided to work through the “Learn By Doing” and “Did I Get This?” exercises.

English vs. Metric Tutorial

EXAMPLE

You can use the ratio of two different units to make a “unity factor.” This unity factor will allow you to solve for the desired units. For example:

  • 1 horsepower = 746 watts, so:
  • 1 = 1 hp/746 W
  • Thus, if you have a quantity of 4 hp
  • 4 horsepower x 746 W/horsepower = 2984 W

Metric/English Conversion Factors

Length (approximate)
ENGLISH TO METRIC METRIC TO ENGLISH
1 inch (in) = 2.5 centimeters (cm) 1 millimeter (mm) = 0.04 inch (in)
1 foot (ft) = 30 centimeters (cm) 1 centimeter (cm) = 0.4 inch (in)
1 yard (yd) = 0.9 meter (m) 1 meter (m) = 3.3 feet (ft)
1 mile (mi) = 1.6 kilometers (km) 1 meter (m) = 1.1 yards (yd)
1 kilometer (km) = 0.6 mile (mi)
Area (approximate)
ENGLISH TO METRIC METRIC TO ENGLISH
1 square inch (sq in, in2) = 6.5 square centimeters (cm2) 1 square centimeter (cm2) = 0.16 square inch (sq in, in2)
1 square foot (sq ft, ft2) = 0.09 square meter (m2) 1 square meter (m2) = 1.2 square yards (sq yd, yd2)
1 square yard (sq yd, yd2) = 0.8 square meter (m2) 1 square kilometer (km2) = 0.4 square mile (sq mi, mi2)
1 square mile (sq mi, mi2) = 2.6 square kilometers (km2) 10,000 square meters (m2) = 1 hectare (ha) = 2.5 acres
1 acre = 0.4 hectare (he) = 4,000 square meters (m2)
Mass – Weight (approximate)
ENGLISH TO METRIC METRIC TO ENGLISH
1 ounce (oz) = 28 grams (gm) 1 gram (gm) = 0.036 ounce (oz)
1 pound (lb) = 0.45 kilogram (kg) 1 kilogram (kg) = 2.2 pounds (lb)
1 short ton = 2,000 pounds (lb) = 0.9 tonne (t) 1 tonne (t) = 1,000 kilograms (kg) = 1.1 short tons
Volume (approximate)
ENGLISH TO METRIC METRIC TO ENGLISH
1 teaspoon (tsp) = 5 milliliters (ml) 1 milliliter (ml) = 0.03 fluid ounce (fl oz)
1 tablespoon (tbsp) = 15 milliliters (ml) 1 liter (l) = 2.1 pints (pt)
1 fluid ounce (fl oz) = 30 milliliters (ml) 1 liter (l) = 1.06 quarts (qt)
1 cup (c) = 0.24 liter (l) 1 liter (l) = 0.26gallon (gal)
1 pint (pt) = 0.47 liter (l)
1 quart (qt) = 0.96 liter (l)
1 gallon (gal) = 3.8 liters (l)
1 cubic foot (cu ft, ft3) = 0.03 cubic meter (m3) 1 cubic meter (m3) = 36 cubic feet (cu ft, ft3)
1 cubic yard (cu yd, yd3) = 0.76 cubic meter (m3) 1 cubic meter (m3) = 1.3 cubic yards (cu yd, yd3)
Temperature (exact)
ENGLISH TO METRIC METRIC TO ENGLISH
[(x-32)(5/9)] °F = y °C [(9/5)y +32] °C = x °F

SourceSourceClick Here for a Reference Chart of Conversion Factors

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