In the US, feet and inches are commonly used to measure length, while in the UK and EU, centimeters and meters are more common. Understanding the conversion between these units can help people compare measurements across countries.
When talking about a person’s height, people often use “foot” instead of “feet” even if the measurement is greater than one. For example, “I am 5 foot 6 tall” or “He is 6 foot 2.” Although not grammatically correct, this usage has become common in casual conversation.
Converting Feet & Inches to Centimeters or Meters
When converting a measurement that includes both feet and inches, first convert each part separately, and then add the results together. For example, a 5-foot-8 person would be 5 x 0.3048 = 1.524 meters (from feet) and 8 x 2.54 = 20.32 centimeters (from inches). Add the two results (1.524 + 0.2032 = 1.7272 meters) to get the total height in meters.
How to convert feet to meters or centimeters
To convert feet to meters, multiply the measurement in feet by 0.3048. For feet to centimeters, simply multiply the measurement in feet by the conversion factor 30.48.
Example: A 6-foot-tall person would be 6 x 0.3048 = 1.8288 meters tall.
How to convert inches to meters or centimeters
To convert inches to centimeters, multiply the measurement in inches by 2.54. For inches to meters, multiply the measurement in inches by the conversion factor 0.0254.
Example: A 24-inch-long table would be 24 x 2.54 = 60.96 centimeters long.
Approximations for daily use
For quick mental calculations, remember that 1 foot is approximately 30 centimeters and 1 inch is about 2.5 centimeters. These approximations can help you estimate measurements when precision is not required.
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