Pre-Algebra Practice Questions: Applying the English System of Measurement

By Mark Zegarelli

The English system of measurement is most commonly used in the United States. If you were raised in the States, you’re probably familiar with most of the units: inches, pints, ounces, Fahrenheit, and so on.

The following table shows the most common units as well as simple conversions from one unit to another. You can use it to answer the practice questions that follow.

Commonly Used English Units of Measurement

Practice questions

Calculate each of the following:

  1. 7 quarts = ________________ cups
  2. 5 miles = ________________ inches
  3. If you have 420 minutes, how many hours do you have?
  4. If you have 22,000 pounds, how many tons do you have?

Answers and Explanation

  1. The answer is 28 cups.
    This problem asks you to convert a large unit to a smaller one, so use multiplication: 2 cups are in a pint and 2 pints are in a quart, so
    PREALGEBRA_1401
    So 4 cups are in a quart; therefore,
    PREALGEBRA_1402
  2. The answer is 316,800 inches.
    This problem asks you to convert a large unit to a smaller one, so use multiplication: 12 inches are in a foot and 5,280 feet are in a mile, so
    PREALGEBRA_1403
    63,360 inches are in a mile, so
    PREALGEBRA_1404
  3. The answer is 7 hours.
    This problem asks you to convert a smaller unit to a larger one, so use division: There are 60 minutes in an hour, so divide by 60:
    PREALGEBRA_1405
  4. The answer is 11 tons.
    This problem asks you to convert a smaller unit to a larger one, so use division. There are 2,000 pounds in a ton, so divide by 2,000
    PREALGEBRA_1406