Converting 48 Ounces to Pounds: How-to & Steps

Instructor: Stephanie Matalone

Stephanie taught high school science and math and has a Master's Degree in Secondary Education.

In this lesson, we will go through the steps to convert the measurement of 48 ounces into an equal measurement of pounds. In doing this, you will learn how to set up equivalent ratios in a proportion and cross-multiply.

Steps to Solving the Problem

You want to try out this cool new recipe that calls for a cantaloupe that weighs 48 ounces. When you go to the store to pick it out, you can only weigh the cantaloupe in pounds. Should you just give up on your recipe? No! Let's convert the 48 ounces into pounds so you know which cantaloupe to pick.

The first thing we need to do is look up how many ounces are in a pound. When we do that, we will find that 16 ounces equals one pound. With that information, we will set up our first ratio as a fraction.

Original Fraction:

Fraction 1

The next step is to set up an equivalent ratio that is equal to the original fraction that we just made. In order to be equal, the equivalent ratio must have matching units on the top and bottom of the fraction. Thus, pounds must be in the numerator on top of the fraction (like the original) and ounces must be in the denominator on bottom of the fraction (like the original).

We will put 48 ounces in the denominator to match the original value. We will then put x pounds in the numerator. This x is a variable that stands for the unknown amount of pounds that we need to solve for.

Equivalent Fraction:

Fraction 2

Now we will set the two equivalent fractions equal to one another in an equation called a proportion.



In order to solve for x, we need to cross-multiply. We will do this by multiplying the numerator of the first fraction with the denominator of the second fraction and vice-versa. In our equation, we will multiply 1 pound by 48 ounces and 16 ounces by x pounds. We will then set the two products equal to one another:

(1 pound)(48 ounces) = (16 ounces)(x pounds)


(1)(48) = (16)(x)

Or, simplified again:

48 = 16x

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