French Metric Weights and Measures and their equivalents

Metric Weights and Measures and Conversions

In general, weights & measures in France and the Continent are metric.
Credit for originating the metric system is usually given to Gabriel Mouton, a French vicar, somewhere around 1670, but the basis of the system we know today was designed during the French Revolution in the 1790’s, and brought order out of the conflicting and confusing traditional systems of weights and measures then being used in Europe.

Units legally used in business in France

Kilometre

1000 metres

Metre

 

Decimetre

1/10 of a metre

Centimetre

1/100 of a metre

Millimetre

1/1000 of a metre

  

Hectare

100 ares

Decare

10 ares

Are

100 square metres

Square metre

An area equal to that of a square each side of which measures one metre

Square decimetre

1/100 square metre

Square centimetre

1/100 square decimetre

Square millimetre

1/100 square centimetre

  

Cubic metre

A volume equal to that of a cube each edge of which measures one metre

Cubic decimetre

1/1000 cubic metre

Cubic centimetre

1/1000 cubic decimetre

Litre

A cubic decimetre

Decilitre

1/10 litre

Centilitre

1/100 litre

Millilitre

1/1000 litre

Hectolitre

100 litres

  

Tonne

1000 kilograms

Kilogram

 

Hectogram

1/10 kilogram

Gram

1/1000 kilogram

Carat (metric)

1/5 gram

Milligram

1/1000 gram

The USA and UK

With the switch of the UK to the metric system (although not completely), only the USA still uses the weights and measures system it inherited from Britain. However, although some American measures have the same name as old English measures, they’re not the same…

  • The American pint has 16 fluid ounces whereas the UK pint has 20 fluid ounces  (US=473.176473 ml UK=568.26125 ml)
    Note: this is especially important to note when ordering a beer!
  • The American gallon has 8 pints as does the UK but the measure is different
  • (US=3.785411784 Litres UK=4.54609 Litres)

People in Britain still commonly refer to the old traditional measurements though.

Here’s how to convert the metric system of weights and measures into their Imperial equivalents and vice versa:

UnitConversion factorNew Unit
inches25.4millimetres
millimetres0.0394inches
inches2.54centimetres
centimetres0.3937inches
feet0.3048metres
metres3.281feet
yards0.9144metres
metres1.094yards
miles1.609kilometres
kilometres0.6214miles
sq inches6.452sq centimetres
sq centimetres0.155sq inches
sq metres10.76sq feet
sq feet0.0929sq metres
sq yards0.8361sq metres
sq metres1.196sq yards
sq miles2.589sq kilometres
sq kilometres0.3861sq miles
acres0.4047hectares
hectares2.471acres
cu inches16.39cu centimetres
cu centimetres0.06102cu inches
cu feet0.02832cu metres
cu metres35.315cu feet
cu yards0.7646cu metres
cu metres1.308cu yards
cu inches0.01639litres
litres61.03cu inches
pints0.5682litres
litres1.76pints
US pints0.47311litres
litres2.114US pints
US gallon3.785liters
gallons4.546litres
litres0.02642US gallons
litres0.22gallons
grains0.0648grams
grams15.43grains
ounces28.35grams
grams0.03527ounces
pounds453.6grams
grams0.002205pounds
pounds0.4536kilograms
kilograms2.205pounds
tons1016.05kilograms
kilograms0.0009842tons

Metric measurements in the UK and US are the same.

Find out French Weights and Measures equivalents in your country: Dictionary of Units

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