How do I convert units if I don't know how many such and such is in such and such?

This is a really basic question.. I have a math problem where I first need to convert miles to meters to actually do the math problem. These kind of math problems always defeat me because I never know how many units of something are in something else. So my math problem showed how to do it and so they said there are 1609 meters/mile. But I didn't know that. Do I have to just remember these conversions in order to do these kind of problems? Am I supposed to automatically know there are 1609 meters per mile? Or is there an actual way to find that out math wise?

16 Answers

  • Lisa A
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    You dont. You find out (look it up) then you convert.

  • 5 months ago

    All you have to do is use any search engine to find a length converter.

  • 5 months ago

    Google meters to feet or feet to meters or unit one to unit two.

    Convert everything to the unit you want to end up with then do the math.

  • GB
    Lv 5
    5 months ago

    I am so glad we weren't given this sort of maths at school ! Instead we were encouraged to 'think metric'.

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  • 5 months ago

    Most dictionaries and many math books contain tables of conversion units. Also several books on physical sciences. Also online converters. The trick isn't to remember all of the frimpin' little numbers. It is to remember where you can find them when you need them.

  • 5 months ago

    Ultimately the conversion you need to remember to go from metric to imperial is:

    2.54 cm per inch

    If you can drill down any distance to cm or inches, you can then convert from metric to imperial (or the other way around) then work back up to what you want.

    So if you want the number of meters in a mile, I would do:

    1 mile (5280 ft/mile) (12 in/ft) (2.54 cm/in) (1/100 m/cm) = 1609.644 m

    Or if you have access, google the conversion:

  • D g
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    you multiply by a conversion factor ..

    say you have 10 inches AND want to know how many feet

    we know 12 inches/ foot

    we also know if we DIVIDE 1/(x/y) we get y/x

    so first we need feet / inch

    so we take our inch /foot and 1/(12/1) = 1/12

    so we have a factor of 1 foot / 12 inches

    since our original value we wanted to convert was 10 inches

    it is simple to just multiply

    10 inches x (1/12) = 10/12 = 5/6 feet

    it is that simple

  • 5 months ago

    You need to know something to do a conversion. Maybe you know 2.54 centimeters = 1 inch. You can work with that

    Want meters/mile.

    Have cm/inch.

    2.54cm/inch * 12inch/foot = 30.48cm/ft

    30.48cm/ft * 3feet/yard = 91.44cm/yd

    91.44cm/yd * 1meter/100cm = 0.9144m/yd

    0.9144m/yd * 1760yd/mile = 1609.344meter/mile

    Of course, it is easier if you know more conversions, but knowing a few basic ones will enable you to create others.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    You'll just have to remember. But also keep in mind it's easier to remember there's about 1.6 km per mile.

  • 5 months ago

    You need to memorize common conversions factors, or at least be able to look them up. You can't really deduce a conversion factor otherwise.

    But you can just ask Google...

    Type "How many meters in a mile?" and you get 1609.

    • Lottee5 months agoReport

      Ok that's what I was afraid of, having to remember more stuff. Ugh! Thanks. :)

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