## Simple Imperial to Metric Conversion Example

Converting units of measurement from one system of measurement to another is a simple process.  Usually the only step is correctly multiplying or dividing by a know conversion factor!

First, the units you’re trying to convert between must be of the same type.  In most cases length units can only be converted to other length units, area to area, volume to volume, etc.  Sometimes units of different types can be related.  For example one kilogram was historically equal to one litre of water.  Although the relationship between a litre of water and a kilogram is now only an approximation it can be used to estimate a conversion between volume and mass, the catch is the volume must be full of water.

Once you know the desired conversion the first thing you’ll need to find is the conversion factor.  In this case we’ll be converting feet to meters, so we could consult the online feet to meters conversion table.  After you’ve found the conversion factor apply it by multiplying.  We know that we should multiply because in the conversion table the conversion factor is given in terms of 1 (one) foot, the unit we’re trying to convert from.  See the steps in action below:

### Step 1 – Definition of the Problem:

We want to convert a known length to a length in another system of measurement.  In this case we want to convert feet to meters.  Both feet and meters are the same type of measurement, they measure the same thing just in different units, we can continue.

Imperial to Metric Conversion: Feet to Meters

### Step 2 – Find the Conversion Factor

Using a conversion table find the conversion factor that will convert 1 unit on the left to an unknown number of units on the right side of the expression.  In this case the conversion factor for feet to meters is 1 foot = 0.3048 meters.

Imperial to Metric: Conversion Factor

### Step 3 – Applying the Conversion Factor

Our conversion factor is written with the known units in mind, 1 ft = .  The conversion factor tells us what one foot is equal to so to find out what many feet are equal to we only need to multiple.  In the example below 20 feet multiplied by 0.3048 is equal to 6.096 meters.  The same conversion factor could be used in the opposite direction but this time we would divide.  You can check this by dividing the answer 6.096 (m) by 0.3048 and getting 20 (ft).  We know to divide because the conversion formula is not written in terms of one meter.  If the conversion formula were written 1 meter = 3.2808399 feet then we could multiple because it is written in terms of one meter.  If the conversion formula were written 0.5 feet = 0.1524 meters then we’d have to work on it until one side was equal to one.

Imperial to Metric - Feet to Meters Conversion Factor Applied

To recap, if both units are measuring the same type of thing find the conversion factor written in terms of 1 known unit equals some quantity of another unit and multiply.