# Conversion of Length

*Note: we also have Conversion Charts, and a Unit Converter*.

## How to Convert Lengths

To convert length from one unit to another: **multiply by the correct number**.

Follow these steps:

- Find the correct conversion number (see Conversion Charts)
- Then multiply by that number

Let's look at a detailed example:

### Example: Convert 3 feet into meters

When we put a 1-meter ruler next to a

1-foot ruler, they look like this

Look closely and we see that the 1-foot ruler comes to exactly **0.3048** on the meter ruler

So, the conversion for feet to meters is: **1 ft = 0.3048 meters**

To convert feet to meters, multiply by **0.3048**

In fact we could put three 1 foot rulers next to each other like this:

Now you can see that **3 feet = 3 × 0.3048 meters = 0.9144 meters**

So: **3 ft = 3 × 0.3048 m = 0.9144 m**

### Example: Convert 5 kilometers into miles

The conversion for kilometers into miles is:

**1 km = 0.6214 mile** (to 4 digits of accuracy)

So, the length conversion is "multiply by 0.6214":

5 × 0.6214 = 3.107

So: **5 km = 3.107 miles** (to 3 decimal places)

## More or Less?

Sometimes you can get the conversion the "wrong way around", so it is a good idea to think "will my answer be more or less?"

If you get the wrong answer, try **dividing** by the conversion number.

### Example: You want to convert 8 meters into feet

Will the answer be more or less than 8? Feet are smaller than meters, so there should be **more** feet than meters.

The conversion is **1 ft = 0.3048 meters**.

To the nearest 0.1 feet:

- try multiplying: 8 × 0.3048 = 2.5 feet
*(oops! that is smaller!)* - try dividing: 8 ÷ 0.3048 = 26.2 feet
*(that looks good)*

**Answer: 8 m = 8 ÷ 0.3048 = 26.2 ft**