from a handpicked tutor in LIVE 1to1 classes
Imperial System
The imperial system of measurement or the British imperial system is the system of measurement defined in the UK after the Weights and Measures Act of 1824 and 1878. These include units that were in common use in Britain like inches, pounds, gallons, etc. Let us learn more about the imperial system in this article.
1.  What is Imperial System? 
2.  Imperial System Units 
3.  Imperial System Vs Metric System 
4.  Imperial System Chart 
5.  FAQs on Imperial System 
What is Imperial System?
The imperial system of measurement is defined as a system that originated in Britain and came to formal use in the early 19th century with the Weights and Measures Act of 1824 and 1878. It uses some of the commonly used units there like an inch, ton, pound, gallon, pint, etc. Defining a system of measurement for any country is a way to formalize and generalize the usage of some specific units of measurement over others. For example, the units that are commonly used in the UK include imperial units such as inches, pounds, pint, gallon, etc, so it became a part of their curriculum to introduce this system for the learners. While driving, cooking, shopping, etc, they use imperial units. As opposed to this, in a country like India, the metric system is more commonly used. Though learners learn all the systems of measurement, the main focus is on the metric system as it is more commonly used in everyday life.
The imperial system of measurement is different from the US Customary units and the metric system. You will learn the differences in the sections below. No, let us learn the imperial system units in detail.
Imperial System Units
Under the imperial system of measurement, we can measure length, weight, distance, height, and volume by using some specific units. Look at the list given below to understand all the imperial system units.
Length/Distance 
Inches (in) Feet (ft) Yard (yd) Mile (mi) 

Mass/Weight 
Grain (gr) Ounce (oz) Quarter (qr or qtr) Stone (st) Pound (lb) Ton (t) 
Volume 
fluid ounce (fl oz) gill (gi) pint (pt) quart (qt) gallon (gal) 
Area 
acre square miles Square feet square inches 
Imperial System Vs Metric System
Some countries use the imperial system while some countries use the metric system of measurement. After the US gained independence from the British, they decided to keep the imperial system of measurement but with some changes. They made their own US Standard system which is quite similar to the imperial system. The metric system has its own popularity. It is the easiest measurement system to be used as it is based on the decimal system or the powers of 10. It is important for us to understand the difference between the imperial system and the metric system. Look at the table given below to learn the imperial system vs metric system.
Imperial System  Metric System 

The imperial system is defined as the measurement system used in countries like the UK, Liberia, Myanmar, etc. that uses units like an inch, pound, ton, etc.  The metric system is defined as the decimal system of units based on the meters, kilograms, and second as the units of length, mass, and time respectively. These are the SI units that stand for 'Système International'. 
There is no specific pattern in the conversion units. In 1 foot, there are 12 inches, and in 1 yard, there are 3 feet, etc.  It is based on the decimal system, as units are based on powers of 10. For example, 1 meter is equal to 100 centimeters, 1 km = 1000 meters, 1 liter = 1000 ml, etc. 
Imperial system units: Inch, Yard, Foot, Mile, Pound, Ounce, Gallon, etc.  Metric system units: Meter, Centimeter, Liter, Kiloliter, Gram, Kilogram, millimeter, etc. 
Let us observe the chart given below showing the metric to imperial system conversions.
Now, let us look at the imperial system chart that will help you to learn the conversion formulas for various imperial units.
Imperial System Chart
An imperial system chart will help you to understand the conversion of imperial system units to other imperial units and to metric system units as well.
Length  Mass  Volume/Capacity  

Imperial System Conversion 
1 ft = 12 in 1 yd = 3 ft 1 yd = 36 in 1 mile = 1760 yards 
1 lb = 16 oz 1 ton = 2000 lbs 
1 gallon = 4 quarts 1 gallon = 128 fl oz 1 quart = 2 pints 1 pint = 2 cups 1 cup = 8 fl oz 
Imperial System to Metric 
1 in = 2.54 cms 1 ft = 30.48 cms 1 yd = 91.44 cms 1 yd = 0.9144 m 1 mile = 1609.34 m 1 mile = 1.6 kms 
1 oz = 28.34952 grams 1 lb = 0.45359 kg 1 lb = 453.59237 grams 1 ton = 0.90718 tonnes 
1 gallon = 3.785 liters 1 fl oz = 29.57 ml 1 cup = 236.59 ml 1 pint = 473.176 ml 1 quart = 0.946 liters 
► Related Topics
Check these interesting articles related to the concept of the imperial system in math.
Imperial System Examples

Example 1: Convert 24 inches to feet.
Solution: Inches and feet are the units of measuring length under the imperial system of measurement. There are 12 inches in 1 foot. So, in 1 inch, there is 1/12 foot.
⇒ 24 inches = 24 × 1/12 feet
= 2 feet
Therefore, 24 inches is the same as 2 feet.

Example 2: Jane measured the mass of a shopping bag which is 3 kilograms, but she wants to find the mass in pounds. Can you help her to do the conversion?
Solution: In this question, we need to convert a metric system unit to an imperial system unit (kg to pounds). There are approximately 2.2 pounds in 1 kg.
⇒ 3 kgs = 3 × 2.2 lbs
= 6.6 lbs
Therefore, the mass of the shopping bag in pounds is 6.6 lbs.

Example 3: How to convert 8 cups to pints?
Solution: Both cups and pints are the imperial system units of measuring the volume or capacity. As we know there are 2 cups in 1 pint. So, in 1 cup, there is 0.5 pint. To convert 8 cups to pints, we need to multiply it by 0.5.
⇒ 8 cups = 8 × 0.5 pints
= 4 pints
Therefore, there are 4 pints in 8 cups.
FAQs on Imperial System
What is the Imperial System of Measurement?
The imperial system of measurement is defined as a system of measuring quantities such as length, mass, volume, area, etc in the units that are commonly used in the UK, and other commonwealth countries. The units used in this system include inches, feet, pounds, gallons, tons, fluid ounces, etc.
What Countries Use the Imperial System?
Though the metric system is easier to use, still there are many countries that use the imperial system. U.S., Liberia, and Myanmar are the countries that use the imperial system officially and more dominantly than the metric system.
What is Metric and Imperial System?
Metric and imperial systems of measurement are the two most commonly used systems. The imperial system was originated in Great Britain which formalize the usage of certain units like inches, pounds, etc for measurement over others in the early 19th century. While the metric system is based on the decimal system that was originated in France during the french revolution in around 1795. It includes units like meters, kilometers, liters, grams, etc.
How does the Imperial System Work?
The imperial system standardized the usage of certain units like pounds, ounces, pints, etc. All these units are related to each other, for example, 1 foot = 12 inches, 1 yard = 3 feet, etc. There are specific units for measuring length, mass, height, volume, area, etc.
What are the Advantages of the Imperial System?
The advantages of the imperial system of measurement include the following:
 The imperial system units are more associated with our real lives than the metric system units. In our daily life, we use teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, etc while cooking or shopping or in other activities, but we don't know what a liter looks like.
 Imperial system units are easier to represent in fractions. Like an inch is 1/12 of a foot, and a yard is 1/3 of a foot, etc.
Which Country Invented the Imperial System?
The imperial system was originated in Great Britain in the early 19th century. It came into force after the Weights and Measures Act of 1824 and 1878.
Which System is Better Metric or Imperial System?
Both metric and imperial system have their own benefits and technicalities. When the metric system is easier to understand because it is based on the decimal system which uses the power of 10 as the denomination, the imperial system is more associated with daily life. So, depending on the usage and our comfortability, we can use any system. However, it is important for us to know about both these systems as, at some places, you will find the metric system while at other places you might find the imperial system more dominantly.
visual curriculum