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9.2.3. Units of Measurement. The English/Imperial System.

The English (Imperial) system.

As it is attested by the above text, there are two main systems of measurement in use today, the Imperial and the Metric systems.

The Imperial system uses inches, feet, yards, miles and pounds. The Metric system uses millimetres, centimetres, metres, kilometres and kilogrammes.

Most countries use the Metric system, but the British and Americans use the Imperial system, mainly due to historical reasons, that is the legacy of the British Empire days.

To make things even more confusing, different spellings are sometimes used, e.g. metre/meter, gramme/gram (fortunately, they are pronounced the same way).

In the Imperial system, the basic distance unit is the inch.

1 inch is about the same length as an adult’s index-fingernail- joint

1 foot is 12 inches and is about the same length as the long side of an A4 sheet of paper

1 yard is 3 feet (or 36 inches)

1 mile is 1760 yards

The word “mile” is related to the Latin word “mille” meaning “a thousand”. The Romans are famous for marching and laying straight roads. The mile distance originated in the Roman measurement “mille passus” or “a thousand paces” (where one pace is two steps).

In the Metric system, the basic distance unit is the millimetre.

10 millimetres is 1 centimetre

100 centimetres is 1 metre

1,000 metres is 1 kilometre

2.5 centimetres is about 1 inch

1 metre is (very approximately) about a yard

1.6 kilometres is about 1 mile

Unscramble these letters to make words related to measurements.

1. tmelimelir

2. chin

3. lime

4. ptes

5. trimec 

6. rpmielia

7. lokitreme

8. remte

9. dray

10. tofo

11. itemerctne

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