Standard Units of Measurement for Length, Weight, Time & Capacity

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  • 0:01 U.S. and Metric Systems
  • 1:08 Standard Units of Length
  • 1:51 Standard Units of Weight
  • 2:12 Standard Units of Time
  • 2:25 Standard Units of Volume
  • 2:56 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.

Watch this video lesson to learn how to recognize the various units of measurement for length, weight, time and volume. Learn to recognize both U.S. units and metric units.

U.S. and Metric Systems

In this video lesson, we are going to talk about the different units of measurement that we use for length, weight, time and volume. Looking at the world around us though, we can't just talk about pounds and inches; we also need to talk about kilograms and centimeters. This is because while the United States uses their own measurement units, the rest of the world uses metric measurement units. U.S. measurement units include measurements such as pounds, inches and gallons. Metric measurement units include measurements such as kilograms, centimeters and liters.

Living in the United States, if you go to the store, you might have seen both sets of measurements written on things such as juice bottles and cereal boxes. You might see something like '64 ounces/1.89 liters' on an apple juice bottle, letting you know how much juice is inside the bottle. Look around next time you are at the store and see what other sets of measurements you can spot. If you look around, too, you will notice that different things will have different kinds of measurements. So, let's see what kind of standard measurement units different things have.

Standard Units of Length

We will begin by talking about our standard units of length. Our measurements for length are for measuring distances, like the distance between two cities. For example, the distance from Phoenix, AZ, to Las Vegas, NV, is 286 miles or 460 kilometers. So our standard unit of measure for length in the U.S. is miles, and in the rest of the world, it is kilometers.

On a smaller scale, such as measuring the length of a pen, we use inches in the U.S. and centimeters in the rest of the world. Other U.S. measurements that we use for length are feet and yards. In the metric system, other measurements for length are millimeters and meters.

Standard Units of Weight

If you've ever studied physics, then you know that weight is a force and mass is a measure of how much stuff contained in an object. In everyday life we incorrectly describe weight in terms of pounds and kilograms, but pounds and kilograms are actually units of mass. The U.S. customary unit for mass is commonly referred to as the pound, though it's technically called the pound-mass. Weight in the U.S. customary system is called the pound-force. No wonder we're all confused about the difference between mass and weight! Fortunately it's simpler in the metric system. In the metric system, weight is measured in Newtons.

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