Here are 7 systems of measurement for things like time, distance and money.
1000 milliseconds = 1 second (sec)
60 seconds = 1 minute (min)
60 minutes = 1 hour (hr)
24 hours = 1 day
7 days = 1 week (wk)
28, 30 or 31 days = 1 month (mth)
12 months = 1 year (yr)
365 days = 1 year
BUT every 4th year = 366 days (a leap year)
52 weeks = 1 year (approximately)
People often use the following terms:
48 hours (2 days)
72 hours (3 days)
There are two systems for measuring distance in the English-speaking world:
10 millimetres (mm) = 1 centimetre (cm)
100 centimetres = 1 metre (m)
1000 metres = 1 kilometre (km)
12 inches (in) = 1 foot (ft)
3 feet = 1 yard (yd) (approximately 1 metre)
1760 yards = 1 mile (approximately 1.6 km)
Area is the extent of a surface. It is 2-dimensional. Area is often expressed using the word "square" + the distance. For example, if a room is 10 metres long and 5 metres wide, it is 50 square metres (50 sq. m). But we can also use the distance + the figure 2. Then we would write 50m2.
Here are two examples:
My table is 3 metres long x 2 metres wide:
area = 6 sq.m, or
area = 6m2
My town is 3 miles x 4 miles:
area = 12 sq. miles
We often measure the area of land using:
hectare = 10,000 square metres
acre = 4,840 square yards
Volume is the amount of space occupied by an object or enclosed in a container. It is 3-dimensional. Volume is often expressed using the word "cubic" + the distance. For example, if a room is 5 metres long, 3 metres wide and 3 metres high, it is 45 cubic metres (45 cu. m). But we can also use the distance + the figure 3. So we write 45m3.
Other measurements of volume are:
- 1000 cubic centimetres (cc) = 1 litre (L or l)
- gallon (approx. 4.6 litres in UK, approx. 3.8 liters in US)
We use litres to talk about fluids like drinks and petrol.
We also use gallons to talk about petrol and other fluids.
Speed is a measurement that combines distance, quantity, volume etc AND time. Common ways of talking about the speed of a car, for example, are:
- 50 miles per hour (50mph)
- 50 kilometres per hour (50kph)
We also use the symbol / when talking about speed:
- 50 people/hour (50 people per hour)
- 1000 l/hr (1000 litres per hour)
There are two systems to measure how heavy something is:
1000 grams (g) = 1 kilogram (kg)
1000 kilograms = 1 metric ton (metric tonne)
16 ounces (oz) = 1 pound (lb)
14 pounds = 1 stone (British)
100 pounds = 1 hundredweight (cwt)*
20 hundredweights = 1 ton*
*There is a slight difference between British and US hundredweights and tons.
Most countries use a basic monetary unit (for example the dollar) divided into 100 fractional units (example cents). They use a combination of paper money (banknotes or notes) and metal money (coins).
Here are some examples from the world's major currencies:
USA: American Dollar (USD or $)
1 dollar = 100 cents
UK: British Pound (GBP or £)
1 pound = 100 pence
European Union: Euro (EUR or €)
1 euro = 100 cents
Japan: Japanese Yen (JPY or ¥)
1 yen = 100 sen (not used today)
Switzerland: Swiss Franc (CHF)
1 franc = 100 centimes
See also this longer list of currencies.
Contributor: Josef Essberger