US Customary units of length review (in, ft, yd, & mi)

CCSS Math: 4.MD.A.1, 5.MD.A.1
Review the size of inches, feet, yards, and miles and how to convert between them.  Then, try some practice problems.

Summary of customary units of distance

InchesFeetYardsMiles
63,36063, 3605,2805,2801,7601,7601\goldD1
3636331\goldD111,760\dfrac{1}{1,760}
12121\goldD113\dfrac1315,280\dfrac{1}{5,280}
1\goldD1112\dfrac{1}{12}136\dfrac{1}{36}163,360\dfrac{1}{63,360}

What is distance?

Distance measures length. For example, the length of a snake is how long the snake is.
In the US customary system of measurement, the most common units of distance are inches, feet, yards, and miles.

How big are customary units of distance?

The length of a quarter is about 11 inch.
The length of a man's shoe is about 11 foot.
The length of a guitar is about 11 yard.
The length of a runway at a large airport is about 11 mile.
Want to learn more about customary units of distance? Check out this video.

Practice set 1: Estimating distance

Problem 1A
Identify the most reasonable unit to measure the length of a banana.
Choose 1 answer:
Choose 1 answer:
Want to try more problems like this? Check out this exercise.

Converting larger units to smaller units

1 foot=12 inches1 \text{ foot} = \greenD{12}\text{ inches}
1 yard=3 feet1 \text{ yard} = \greenD{3}\text{ feet}
1 yard=36 inches1 \text{ yard} = \greenD{36}\text{ inches}
1 mile=1760 yards1 \text{ mile} = \greenD{1760}\text{ yards}
To convert larger units to smaller units we multiply the number of larger units by the green conversion factor for the appropriate smaller units.
Example: Converting feet to inches
1 foot=12 inches1 \text{ foot} = \greenD{12}\text{ inches}
5 feet=5×12=60 inches\blueD{5} \text{ feet} = \blueD{5}\times \greenD{12}=60\text{ inches}

Converting smaller units to larger units

1 inch=112 foot1\text{ inch}= \dfrac1{\green{12}} \text{ foot}
1 foot=13 yard1\text{ foot}= \dfrac1{\green{3}} \text{ yard}
1 yard=11760 mile1\text{ yard}= \dfrac1{\green{1760}} \text{ mile}
To convert smaller units to larger units we divide the number of smaller units by the green conversion factor for the appropriate larger units.
Example: Converting inches to feet
1 inch=112 foot1\text{ inch}= \dfrac1{\green{12}} \text{ foot}
72 inches=7212=72÷12=6 feet\pink{72} \text{ inches}= \dfrac{\pink{72}}{\green{12}}= \pink{72}\div\green{12}=\blue{6}\text{ feet}
Example: Converting yards to miles
1 yard=11760 mile1\text{ yard}= \dfrac1{\green{1760}} \text{ mile}
17,600 yards=17,6001760=17,600÷1760=10 miles\pink{17{,}600} \text{ yards}= \dfrac{\pink{17{,}600}}{\green{1760}}= \pink{17{,}600}\div\green{1760}=\blue{10}\text{ miles}
Want to learn more about converting between customary units of distance? Check out this video.

Practice set 2: Converting distance units

Problem 2A
Convert.
33 yards ==
inches
Want to try more problems like this? Check out these exercises:
Convert larger units to smaller units
Converting between units