Metric vs Imperial systems: What’s The Difference?

Have you ever wondered why measurements in the U.S. use a different system than other countries around the world, metric vs imperial systems?

Or perhaps you’ve had difficulty understanding the conversion between metric and imperial systems?

If you’re from the United States, chances are you use the Imperial system in most of your day-to-day life.

If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone!

The main difference between metric and imperial system is that the metric system uses units like meters, liters and grams and is based on multiples of 10. The imperial measurements uses units like feet, gallons and pounds.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what the metric and imperial systems are, how they work, and common measurements used in each system. 

Let’s take a look at what makes these two systems unique and how they are used in everyday life.

Colorful measuring cups on a yellow background. Metric vs Imperial systems.

What Is The Metric System? 

The metric system is a decimal system based on multiples of 10. The metric system is used by most countries around the world, with the exception of the United States, Liberia and Myanmar.

How Does The Metric System Work? 

The metric system works by having all units within a given type relate to each other.

All measurements are related to one another through a base ten relationship.

This means that each unit is 10 times larger than the next smallest unit.

For example, 1 millimeter (mm) is equal to 0.1 centimeters (cm), while 1 centimeter (cm) is equal to 0.1 meters (m).

As such, learning how to convert between different units in the metric system can be as simple as moving a decimal point or multiplying/dividing by 10! 

Metric vs Imperial system tablespoons.

Common Metric Measurements 

List of Metric units, some common metric measurements include: 

  • Milliliters
  • Liters
  • Grams
  • kilograms 

What Is The Imperial System? 

The imperial system (also known as the British imperial system) is a slightly older form of measurement that is still used in certain parts of the world, including the United States, Myanmar and Liberia.

How Does The Imperial System Work? 

The imperial system works by using fractions instead of decimals when expressing measurements like length or weight etc.

For example: 1 foot = 12 inches rather than 10 cm = 0 decimals.

This makes it easier for people who are not familiar with decimals but do understand fractions better such as those from older generations or those learning maths from scratch.

Common Imperial Measurements 

List of most common imperial measurements units.

Measuring glass cup with metric and imperial measurements.

Why doesn’t the US use the metric system

The US has its own system of measurement called the US customary units, inherited from the British system used by the colonies before they became independent.

Even though in the past there were attempts to introduce the metric system, it wasn’t successful.

Today, the metric system is mostly used in scientific, medical and in classrooms, but not in everyday use such as cooking.

Differences between Metric Vs Imperial Systems 

The biggest difference between these two systems is how they measure the units.

In the metric system volume measurements (like for liquids) are measured using liters in metric systems.

Whereas gallons are typically used for volumes in imperial measurements.

Weight measurements also vary between these two systems.

Kilograms tend to be used for weights in metric measurements while pounds are more common for imperial weight measurements.

Measuring spoons with sugar. Metric vs Imperial systems.

Metric Vs Imperial Systems Conversion Charts

Weight Conversion Table Metric To Imperial

50 g1.760.11
100 g3.520.22
250 g8.820.55
500 g17.631.10
1/2 kilo17.631.10
1 kilo35.272.20
2 kilo70.944.40

Volume Conversion Table Metric To Imperial

50 ml0.
100 ml0.420.210.100.02
1 L4.
2 L8.454.222.110.52
5 L21.1310.575.281.32
two red retro kitchen scales on a light blue background. Metric vs Imperial systems.

Weight Conversion Table Imperial To Metric

1 Ounce28.350.02
1 Pound453.590.45
1 Cup1250.12
1 Tablespoon150.01
1 Teaspoon50.005
1 Quart946.350.95
1 Pint473.180.47
1 Gallon3,7853.78

Volume Conversion Table Imperial To Metric

1 Teaspoon0.00494.93
1 Tablespoon0.0114.78
1 Ounce0.0229.57
1 Cup0.2236
1 Pint0.4473
1 Quart0.9946
1 Gallon3.783,785

More Conversion Guides

How Many Tablespoons In An Ounce?

Which One Is Better?

Overall, when it comes down to choosing between the metric system vs imperial system for cooking, we think that the metric system wins hands down in terms of accuracy.

However, when it comes to easy of use, many people prefer the imperial system.

The ease of converting between different units makes it much simpler and faster when measuring out ingredients for recipes, especially when you’re dealing with small quantities like teaspoons or tablespoons!

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which measurement system works best for your needs.

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