Metric vs Imperial

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a great end of February.

Today I want to talk to you about the units we measure our weight and height in the UK and the US, have you ever thought about it? In Spain we use the metric system but in the UK and the US they use the imperial system, which consists of stone, pounds (US) and ounces for weight, feet and inches for height and miles, yards and feet for distance.

Picture a person who is 175cm (or 1m and 75 cm) tall in Spain. If they go to the UK, chances are that they’ll have to change their 1m75cm into feet and inches. That being so, in the UK they’ll be 5 feet and 9 inches, more commonly represented like this: 5ft 9″.

Now, let’s take the example of a person who weighs 64kg, how much would that be in the UK? And in the USA? 64 kg are 10 stone (10st) in the UK and 141 pounds (141lb) in the USA.

Something similar happens when we meassure distance. In Spain we talk about kilometres but in the UK and the US they talk about miles. Which can be rather confusing when driving! 😀

The imperial system is part of the English vocabulary and it’s present in many idioms and expressions, let’s take a look at some of them!

  1. To go the extra mile
  2. Last mile travel
  3. To live miles away from…
  4. To give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile
  5. To eek out the last ounce (out of something)
  6. Pound for pound
  7. To inch along

What do you think these expressions mean? Can you think of an equivalent in Spanish? We invite you to make a guess and leave a comment. Don’t forget to check out our next post for the answers! Till then, happy end of February! 😉

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