Converting Units of Time

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  • 0:00 Units of Time
  • 1:00 Converting Units of Time
  • 3:00 Example 1
  • 3:25 Example 2
  • 3:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After watching this video lesson, you will understand the units of time that we use to count time and know how to convert between these units. Learn the one number that you have to multiply and divide by to make your conversions.

Units of Time

The whole world uses the same system to measure time. And what is that? Well, just take a look at a watch or a clock, and you will see. What do you see? You see hours and minutes. And what else do you see? You also see seconds. These are called units of time, as they are used to measure time. If you spend some time watching a really old clock with the moving arms, you will see that your second hand moves the fastest, followed by your minute arm and then your hour arm. You will also see that your clock only shows 60 seconds and 60 minutes. For hours, it only shows 12. This is because the units of time do not follow the same counting system as the money system. The money system has a simple 100 pennies in a dollar and 100 dollars in a hundred. The time system works differently, and when you need to convert between your time units of hours, minutes and seconds, you need to take that into account.

Converting Units of Time

Let's see how you go about making these conversions.

Let's start with one hour. How many minutes are in one hour? You know that the clock only shows 60 minutes, so there are 60 minutes in one hour. How many seconds are in one minute? There are 60 seconds in one minute. So, how many seconds are there in 60 minutes? You multiply the 60 by 60 to get 60 * 60 = 3,600. So, there are 3,600 seconds in 60 minutes, or one hour. So, one hour also has 3,600 seconds. What about three hours? Three hours has 3 * 60 = 180 minutes, 180 * 60 = 10,800. Or, you can use what you already know about how many seconds there are in an hour to get 3 * 3,600 = 10,800 seconds. If your conversions are from hours to minutes or minutes to seconds, you multiply by 60.

What about going the other way? How many minutes are in 120 seconds? To find this, you now need to divide by 60. 120 / 60 = 2. There are two minutes in 120 seconds. What about finding the number of hours in 180 minutes? Yes, you divide 180 by 60. You get 180 / 60 = 3. There are three hours in 180 minutes.

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