5 tips for understanding weights and measures

5 Tips for Understanding Weights and Measures

  • Mass: how much matter is in an object.
  • We measure mass by weighing, but Weight and Mass are not really the same thing.
  • These are the most common measurements:
  • Grams are the smallest, Tonnes are the biggest.
  • Let’s take a few minutes and explore how heavy each of these are.


A paperclip weighs about 1 gram. Hold one small paperclip in your hand. Does that weigh a lot? No! A gram is very light. That is why you often see things measured in hundreds of grams.

Grams are often written as g (for short), so “300 g” means “300 grams”.

A loaf of bread weighs about 700 g (for a nice sized loaf)


Once we have 1,000 grams, we have 1 kilogram.

1 kilogram = 1,000 grams A dictionary has a mass of about one kilogram. 5 Tips for Understanding Weights and Measures

5 Tips for Understanding Weights and Measures

This gold bar also has a mass of 1 kilogram.

Kilograms are great for measuring things that can be lifted by people (sometimes very strong people are needed of course!).

5 Tips for Understanding Weights and Measures Kilograms are often written as kg (that is a “k” for “kilo” and a “g” for “gram), so “10 kg” means “10 kilograms”. Scales measure our weight using kilograms. An adult weighs about 70 kg. How much do you weigh?

But when it comes to things that are very heavy, we need to use the tonne.


Once we have 1,000 kilograms, we will have 1 tonne.

1 tonne = 1,000 kilograms

5 Tips for Understanding Weights and Measures
  1. Tonnes (also called Metric Tons) are used to measure things that are very heavy.

Weights and measurements

Understanding and using a range of skills to calculate weights and measures is a core numeracy skill that your child will keep returning to over their primary school years.

In this section of the site you'll find lots of weights and measurements worksheets on all the key areas of learning, including using the language of measurement, estimating and reading measurements of length, weight and capacity, reading scales, using standard and non-standard units, comparing lengths, calculating perimeter and area and measuring volume.

Teachers' tricks for weights and measuresWeights and measures can be a really fun area of maths to teach in school – but one that can leave parents unsure of how to help at home. Teacher Phoebe Doyle has some hints and suggestions. How do you 'convert into the same units'?We explain what the phrase 'convert into the same units' means, how children are taught to convert units of measurement and techniques that teachers use to help children master this skill.We explain what mass means, how mass is usually measured and how children are taught to convert from one unit of mass to another. This practical and fun activity will enable your child to compare weights of two household objects to see which is the heaviest. Why not find other objects to compare as well? View Worksheet Comparing measures: ranking things in orderA practical cut out and stick activity that will help your child compare sizes from the shortest to the tallest. Great for visual learners. View Worksheet Capacity problems challengeCan you answer these capacity problem challenges? There are four for you to tackle. You can change the amounts to ml. and draw pictures where it helps. View Worksheet Working out the perimeter of a 2D shape tutorialLet our digital teacher (and a helpful ladybird) show you to work out the perimerter of a 2D shape tutorial – than have a go at a few on-screen questions. Finding the area of squares and rectangles tutorialLet our digital teacher show you how easy it is to find the area of squares and rectangles – then when you're feeling confidence, have a go yourself!

Add an extra learning dimension to family game time – try one of the board games from the Cool maths games learning pack and help reinforce your child's knowledge of number bonds, percentages and fractions while you play.

If you want to make maths more enjoyable for your child, print out a board game (or two) and settle down for some cozy, round-the-kitchen-table fun your children will be asking you to make time for. As well as play value, each game offers huge learning opportunities, so pick a skill to revise, print out the game rules, board and counters and get playing!

5 tips for making your own weight room at home during confinement!

© Supplied by KIOSK 5 tips for making your own weight room at home during confinement!

Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to sign up for a gym. Even if it is the case, some do not want to mix either. But all share a common desire, that of doing bodybuilding. There remains the ultimate solution: make your own gym.

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A rewarding idea that may seem easily achievable, and yet it requires organization. Lots of organization.

Take action before purchasing your equipment

This is the basis. You generally have limited space, so you will need optimize it to the maximum to be able to train at best and avoid a mess that could happen when you haven’t even finished your first session.

Measure the dimensions of your space and write them down. You will know which equipment can fit and thus make a foreground of your personal weight room.

Take only the equipment you need

Once the measurements are taken and well kept in a corner, define the type of training that you want to do.

What are your goals ? From there, you will know what equipment you need to buy. No need to say “I’m taking this machine, maybe it can be used in case”. No.

Be judicious, at the risk of losing a space that is precious in addition to making a hole in your budget.

Avoid taking machines

Precisely, speaking of budget. Bodybuilding machines are often very expensive. So it would be better, if you don’t have the Rothschild stock exchange, favor free weights. In addition today, there are adjustable and square dumbbells which once again save space.

If you absolutely want to take a machine, try to take something complete and versatile. As long as you invest in something, as much as they can afford exercise as much as possible while taking up a minimum of space.

Take a cardio mat

Cardio is probably the area that requires as little material as possible. Don’t bother with a treadmill which is worth a fortune. Take a yoga mat and do HIIT. Cardio can also be strengthened with free weights by working on short recovery times (in fact it is called crossfit). It all depends on your goals.

Take an adjustable bench and an Olympic bar

If we were to give you only one piece of equipment to buy it would be the adjustable bench. It allows you to do all types of exercises by varying the angles. An Olympic bar can be practical, but dumbbells are often better suited for a personal room, due to lack of space.

As for the rest, be imaginative. Use a tire and a rope to work on strength and explosiveness for example. In addition you will have your conscience for you by not sending all this gum to burn in a recycling center.

The Measure of Things

The Measure Of Things is a search engine for finding comparative or relative measurements of physical quantities.

Want to know how much, how long, how many, how far, how large, how tall, how high, or how heavy something is? Want to figure what weighs 5; 500; or 5,000 tons? The Measure Of Things can tell you what you need to know.

With the Measure Of Things tool, you can take a physical quantity – like 84 kilograms or 23 cubic meters – and see how it compares to a list of famous or well-known objects. For example, 84 kilograms is the weight of about 17 gallons of paint, while 23 cubic meters is about twice the volume of a cement mixer truck.

You can use the Measure Of Things to research equivalent measures for several types of quantities, including weight, length, speed, time, height, area, volume, and computer data.

Did you know? The size of Canada is 9,984,670,000,000 square meters

Here you'll find measurements of hundreds of people and things, including:

  • The length of The Colorado RiverThe weight of a GiraffeThe length of Baseball base distancesThe length of a William Henry Harrison's PresidencyThe length of The Amazon RiverThe height of Olympus MonsThe weight of a Hippopotamus
  • The length of an E. coli Bacterium

The weight of a Battery (AAA)The length of The Great Wall of China (wall only)The amount of a MP3 SongThe size of Fort KnoxThe height of a KilimanjaroThe weight of a Grain of RiceThe length of The Great Wall of China (total)The size of HawaiiThe length of The First airplane flight (Wright Flyer, 1903)The size of MississippiThe length of The Great Chicago FireThe length of The Kentucky Derby

Recent queries have included:

Cooking weights and measures

Measuring spoons (metric) – 1 mL, 5 mL, 15 mL, 50 mL, 100 mL, 125 mL
Measuring spoons (customary units)

In recipes, quantities of ingredients may be specified by mass (commonly called weight), by volume, or by count.

For most of history, most cookbooks did not specify quantities precisely, instead talking of “a nice leg of spring lamb”, a “cupful” of lentils, a piece of butter “the size of a small apricot”, and “sufficient” salt.

[1] Informal measurements such as a “pinch”, a “drop”, or a “hint” (soupçon) continue to be used from time to time.

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In the US, Fannie Farmer introduced the more exact specification of quantities by volume in her 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.

Today, most of the world prefers metric measurement by weight,[2] though the preference for volume measurements continues among home cooks in the United States (“almost exclusively”),[3][4] and the rest of North America. Different ingredients are measured in different ways:

Liquid ingredients are generally measured by volume worldwide.

Dry bulk ingredients, such as sugar and flour, are measured by weight in most of the world (“250 g flour”), and by volume in North America (“1/2 cup flour”). Small quantities of salt and spices are generally measured by volume worldwide, as few households have sufficiently precise balances to measure by weight.

Meats are generally specified by weight or count worldwide: “a 2 kg chicken”; “four lamb chops”.

Eggs are usually specified by count. Vegetables are usually specified by weight or occasionally by count, despite the inherent imprecision of counts given the variability in the size of vegetables.

Metric measures

In most of the world, recipes use the metric system of units—litres (L) and millilitres (mL), grams (g) and kilograms (kg), and degrees Celsius (°C). The spelling litre is preferred in most English-speaking nations: the notable exception is the United States where the spelling liter is preferred.

Weights & measures

If you weigh or measure goods to sell to consumers, the law states that your equipment must be both suitable and accurate

The law also covers the manufacture and approval of this equipment, and lays down requirements about specific quantities in which certain goods must be sold.

What's covered

Generally the law requires the majority of food, drink and other goods sold to the public to have their quantities indicated for the customer. This includes goods that are weighed or measured at the customer's request or packaged ready for sale.

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Nearly all measurable goods must have their quantities stated in metric amounts – for example, kilograms, litres or metres. Note that the pint must be used for draught beer, lager and cider; milk in returnable bottles may also be sold by the pint.

Equivalent 'imperial' quantities – such as pounds, ounces, pints and yards – can be given in addition to the required metric indications, but they must not be more prominent.

Some products have to be sold in particular or 'prescribed' quantities:

  • unwrapped loaves of bread: 400 g or 800 g
  • beer, lager and cider: 1⁄3 pint, 1⁄2 pint, 2⁄3 pint or multiples of 1⁄2 pint
  • wine: 125 ml, 175 ml or multiples of 125 ml or 175 ml
  • whisky, gin, rum or vodka: 25 ml or 35 ml or multiples of 25 ml or 35 ml

For detailed information, check the specific In-depth Guides below for the items you sell.

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Consumers must be able to see what the quantity is for goods required to be sold by weight or measure. This must be included on the products' labels. Some fruit and vegetables are not included as they can be counted easily through the packaging. See Quantities above for information on the prominence of the quantity information.

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Price marking

Non-prepacked goods that are weighed at the request of the customer must have their unit price indicated to the customer by price per kilogram. The price per pound can be given in addition, provided it is not more prominent than the metric price.

  • Although they are not required to, some traders add the price per 100 g for high-value goods such as cheese and meat to give a more meaningful price indication to consumers.
  • Some goods traditionally sold in smaller quantities are allowed to be priced in smaller units where this allows the customer a better indication of the value of the goods.
  • Examples of this are sugar confectionery and chocolate, herbs, spices and coffee – these can be price marked per 100 g.

In larger self-service shops, goods that are sold by weight or measure are required to display an equivalent unit price for goods sold with an indication of quantity – for example, equivalent price per 100 g (or 100 ml). This is to allow consumers to compare the relative values of similar products that are sold in different quantities.

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Weighing and measuring equipment

  1. Equipment that is used to weigh or measure goods for consumers must be suitable for the quantity being determined and accurate within specific tolerances.

  2. Equipment used for consumer sales is required to be 'Government stamped'; this refers to markings that show the equipment has been made to a particular standard and meets accuracy requirements.

  3. Government stamps generally take the form of either:
  • a lead plug embedded into the equipment on which is stamped a numbered crown and year … or
  • a series of stickers attached to the equipment
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Information plates on some equipment also give other required details.

Measuring equipment that has tested as inaccurate or no longer conforms with other requirements will have a six-pointed star stamped on or attached to it. Look out for this if you're buying second-hand equipment.

Construction requirements, measuring capacity and accuracy tolerances requirements also vary with the value of the goods being sold. Equipment used to buy and sell gold, silver, etc has different requirements to that used to sell potatoes.

Here are some examples of weighing and measuring equipment (consumer sales) that are required to be stamped:

  • weighing machines, used for fruit and vegetables, sweets, meat, fish, postal services, etc
  • measures of volume:
    • beer glasses and automatic measuring meters
    • alcoholic spirits measures ('optics') and 'thimble' measures
    • wine glasses and carafes
    • petrol pumps
  • length measures:
    • commonly known as 'yardsticks' but which must now be metre measures used for material, fabrics, ribbon, electrical cable, etc
    • flexible tapes, used for carpet and other floor coverings

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New weighing and measuring equipment intended for determining the quantity of goods sold has to be manufactured to an evaluated and approved type, called a 'type examination certificate' (TEC).

This means that the design and construction of the equipment must have been evaluated, approved and certificated by UK or European legislation and have the appropriate required markings and details attached to it.

This equipment is then subject to periodic inspection for accuracy and continued conformity by trading standards officers who are qualified in weights and measures.

5 Tips for Understanding Weights and Measures

Are you baffled by the overwhelming variety of weights and measures we face in daily life? You know, the myriad methods by which we quantify things like volume and mass?

If you're not sure about the difference between millileters, fluid ounces, tablespoons, and gallons, then rest assured that you are not alone. And if your intuition about grams, ounces, pounds, and tons is not exactly top-notch, either, then join the club! The ailment that's afflicting you is more common than the common cold.

The good news is that there is a cure! Today, we're going to take a look at 5 quick and dirty tips that will help you make sense of the world of weights and measures. .

Tip 1: Fluid Ounces

Did you know that both mass and volume can be measured in ounces? Well, sort of. In truth, the volumey kind of ounces are more properly known as “fluid ounces.” And 1 fluid ounce is…not much. How much exactly?

Remember medicine cups? I know, how could you possibly forget those wonderful little vessels of delight. As it turns out, a standard medicine cup holds 1 fluid ounce of liquid. If you're of a certain age, you may be more familiar with a slightly larger piece of glassware known as a shotglass. How much do they hold? Typically up to 2 fluid ounces.

Tip 2: Non-Fluid Ounces

If fluid ounces measure the volume of fluids, then regular ounces must measure…what exactly? Well, as you probably know, we weigh babies (and bigger people, too) using pounds and ounces. So the regular old non-fluid ounce must be a measure of mass (which, as we've learned, is related to—but not exactly the same as—weight.)

How much is 1 ounce? It's 1/16 of a pound, of course! But that doesn't give us much of an intuitive feel for things, so let's try to latch onto something a bit more memorable. How about this: According to Wolfram Alpha, a pencil and an empty soda can each weigh about 0.5 oz., and a tennis ball weighs about 2 oz.

Tip 3: Why Both Ounces?

An obvious question that might come to mind at this point is: Why is the same word—ounce—used to measure two different things? The historical chain of events that led us to this dilemna is long and complicated. But there is, thankfully, a simple reason that we can state that should summarize things nicely–and even shed some light on the situation.

The key thing to know is that 1 fluid ounce of water weighs pretty close to 1 ounce. And that coincidence isn't a coincidence, at all: in fact, it's the reason that we use the same word to describe these two very different things.


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