Metric to Standard Converter

Created by Krishna Nelaturu
Reviewed by Davide Borchia
Last updated: Jan 24, 2023

Welcome to our metric-to-standard converter, where you can quickly convert units between the metric system and the standard system for important physical quantities like length, area, volume, and weight.

If you're wondering what the metric system or standard system of units is or why you must bother learning metric-to-standard conversion, you're not alone. Unit conversion may seem like a drab topic, but even the best minds stumble when jumbling multiple units in their equations or measurements. It is important to use appropriate units in every equation. Similarly, it is imperative that the units are well-defined and standardized so there is no room for miscommunication. With this metric-to-standard converter, you'll always get your units right!

Metric system of units

The metric system was one of the many reforms that originated during the French Revolution. It has two types of units for each variable:

  1. Base units; and
  2. Derived units, a decimal multiple of the base unit, usually identified by a prefix to the base unit.

For example, if gram is the base unit for weight, while kilogram (=1000 grams) is a derived unit. The following table shows the various prefixes available in the metric system.

Common prefixes used in the metric system.

Prefix

Symbol

Factor

tera

T

10¹²

1,000,000,000,000

giga

G

10⁹

1,000,000,000

mega

M

10⁶

1,000,000

kilo

k

10³

1,000

hecto

h

10²

100

deca

da

10¹

10



10⁰

1

deci

d

10⁻¹

0.1

centi

c

10⁻²

0.01

milli

m

10⁻³

0.001

micro

µ

10⁻⁶

0.000,001

nano

n

10⁻⁹

0.000,000,001

pico

p

10⁻¹²

0.000,000,000,001

Further, there are different systems within the metric system, based on the base unit they prescribe. The most common metric systems are:

  1. MKS system (meter-kilogram-second); and
  2. CGS system (centimeter-gram-second).

The Internation Standard (SI) units are an extension of the MKS system, so more people use MKS system today than the CGS system, whether knowingly or otherwise. The following table lists the base units for MKS and CGS systems.

Variable

MKS unit

Symbol

CGS unit

Symbol

Length

Meter

m

Centimeter

cm

Mass

Kilogram

kg

Gram

g

Area

Square meter

m2

Square centimeter

cm2

Volume

Cubic meter

m3

Cubic centimeter

cm3

Standard system of units

The standard system may refer to either the US customary units or the British Imperial units. While the Imperial units and the US units were developed from the earlier English units, there are some differences between these two systems too. Both systems use the same units for length, mass, and area. The following table will help you familiarize yourself with the standard units, along with how the conversion from metric to standard and vice versa works.

Variable

Imperial/US unit

Symbol

Equivalent to

Length

inch

in

= 1/12 ft = 25.4 mm

foot

ft

= 1/3 yd = 0.3048 m

yard

yd

= 3 ft = 0.9144 m

mile

mi

= 1760 yd = 1.609 km

Area

square inch

sq.in or in2

= 645.2 mm2

square foot

sq. ft or ft2

= 144 in2 = 0.0929 m2

acre

ac

= 43,560 ft2 = 4047 m2

Mass

ounce

oz

= 28.349523125 g

pound

lb

= 16 oz = 453.59237 g

When it comes to volume, there are some differences between what the Imperial and US systems prescribe. The difference originates from how the two systems define gallons. So apart from the derived volume units like the cubic inch (cu in or in3) and cubic foot (cu ft or ft3), these systems also have the following volume units:

Standard Unit

Symbol

Equivalent to

US unit

US gallon

US gal

= 231 in3 = 3.7854 L

US quart

US qt

= 1/4 US gal = 0.9464 L

US pint

US pt

= 1/8 US gal = 0.4732 L

US fluid ounce

US fl oz

= 1/128 US gal = 0.029574 L

Imperial unit

UK gallon

UK gal

= 277.42 in3 = 4.546 L

UK quart

UK qt

= 1/4 UK gal = 1.1365 L

UK pint

UK pt

= 1/8 UK gal = 0.5683 L

UK fluid ounce

UK fl oz

= 1/160 US gal = 0.028413 L

Test your understanding of the unit conversion so far - using the above two tables, build your own metric-to-standard conversion chart!

Using this metric to standard converter

Our metric-to-standard converter is easy to use:

  1. Pick the variable you wish to convert from the type of conversion field. You have four choices with our metric-to-standard converter:
    1. Length
    2. Area
    3. Volume
    4. Weight (or mass)
  2. Enter the value of the variable in the corresponding metric unit field. Clicking on the unit will give you a list of other units you can try.
  3. The converter will automatically convert the value from metric to the standard unit and present the result in the corresponding Imperial/US unit. The converter will also present your result in other units that may interest in the Other section.

You can also use the converter to convert standard units to metric units!

Other relevant converters

FAQ

How do you convert 12 meters to standard units?

12 meters is equal to 39.372 feet. To perform this metric to standard conversion, follow these steps keeping in mind that 1 m = 3.281 ft:

  1. Multiply 12 by 3.281 to get 12 × 3.281 = 39.372.
  2. Verify this result with our metric to standard converter.

What is the recommended unit for measuring the height of a person?

Since most of the world follows the metric system, we recommend the use of meters or centimeters for expressing your body height. Note that in countries like the USA and India, it is common to use feet and inches instead. Our metric-to-standard converter can help you with any height conversion.

Krishna Nelaturu
Type of conversion
Length
Metric
m
km
Imperial/US
in
ft
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