You are not alone if you are struggling with how to read a ruler.It can be hard to figure out what the lines mean on a ruler.
We will give you step-by-step instructions on how to read a ruler in inches and cm in this guide.We will give you some helpful resources that you can use to hone your ruler-reading skills.
If you wanted to make something out of construction paper, you would need to use a ruler to figure out how much you need.If you wanted to frame a photo, what would you do?To see what kind of frame it would fit in, you might have to measure the picture.
There are a lot of times when you need to know how to read a ruler.You will likely suffer consequences if you don’t know how to read a ruler.If you make two pieces of something that don’t fit together, what are you going to do?If you messed up a science experiment because you didn’t accurately read the measurement of a piece of string, what would you do?
It is obvious that knowing how to read a ruler is important to your day-to-day life.
The inch, imperial, ruler and centimeter are the two types of rulers you can use.
The main measuring system used in the US and a number of other countries is the imperial system.
The metric system is used in both everyday life and science.
We recommend getting your own ruler or measuring tape so you can follow along in real time while we provide pictures.
How to read a ruler in inches is the first thing we will look at.If you are an American, this is the measurement you know better than centimeters, which are sometimes included on your standard 12-inch or 1-foot ruler.
Right away, you should be able to tell that this ruler uses inches, as it is divided into 12 equally spacing areas, and we know there is 12 inches in a foot.
There are lines between each inch, with some longer and some shorter than others.The lines are a fraction of an inch.There are five different lengths of lines.
The smallest length you can measure with a ruler is 1/16 inch, because the space between each line is divided into 16 lines.Some rulers only go down to 1/32 inch lines, while others do not.
The longest line is represented by the inch on a ruler.The image above shows how the 1-inch lines are labeled with a number.
If you were to measure the length of a sheet of computer paper, the piece would come up to the 11-inch mark on your ruler, indicating that it’s exactly 11 inches long.
The second-longest line is represented by the 1/2 inch, which is the second biggest unit on a ruler.These aren’t labeled but might be on some rulers and you’d see numbers such as 1 1/2 in.).
The 1/2-inch line is on a ruler.It would be 7 1/2 inches between 7 and 8 inches.
If you were to measure the width of a piece of computer paper, the piece should come up exactly to the 1/2 inch line between 8 and 9 inches.
The third-biggest lines on a ruler are the 1/2 inch and whole inch lines.
If you counted the fourth line after 0 inches, the eighth line, and the 12th line on a ruler, you’d see that they all equal 1/2 inch.
The ruler ends at the fourth line after the 10-inch mark if you are measuring a piece of cloth.The cloth is 10 1/2 inches long.
The second smallest unit of a ruler is 1/6 inch.The 1/2 lines are near each other.
If you divide the second line by 0, you get the fourth line, the sixth line and the eighth line.
You can measure the length of a corn on the cob.The ruler comes to the second line after the 6-inch mark.The corn is 6 inches long.
The smallest unit on a ruler is 1/16 inch.The lines that represent 1/16 inch come between all the other lines.
You are trying to measure the length of your finger.The ruler comes to the seventh line.The length of your finger is 3 7/16 inches.
If you are studying science, you should know that science uses the metric system, not the imperial system.If you know how to read a ruler in cm, you can work with other units instead of using fractions.
The ruler is 30 cm long.To see the measurement it’s referring to, each centimeter is labeled with a number.You might see something on the other side of the ruler.Refer to the instructions above to learn how to read a ruler in inches.
Even though they are put on the same ruler, 30 cm does not equal 12 inches.
You can tell that this is a metric ruler because it has cm written on it and is divided into 30 equally spacing sections.
Similar to the inches ruler, you can see a lot of lines on a metric ruler.1 millimeter is equal to 0.1 cm, so 10mm makes up 1 cm.
There will always be 10 lines.There are three different lengths of lines on a metric ruler.
The biggest unit on the ruler is 1 cm.The ruler has a label on it for each centimeter.
You use a ruler to measure the width of your fingernail.The ruler stops when it is 1 cm wide.
The middle-length line on a metric ruler is 1/2 (0.5) centimeter line, which is the fifth line after every whole centimeter.
When you measure the width of your phone, it comes up to the fifth line after 4 cm on your ruler.The phone is 4.5 cm wide.
The smallest unit a metric ruler can measure is 1mm.The smallest lines on the ruler are between the whole centimeter and 1/2 centimeters.
You are measuring the length of a strand of hair.After 16 cm on the ruler, the strand comes to the ninth line.The strand is 16 cm long and 9 cm wide.
If you want more assistance with learning how to read a ruler in cm or inches, you can use videos and worksheets.
If you want to test out your ruler-reading knowledge with practice questions, it’s a good idea to download free measurement worksheets from these math sites.
All of these resources, in addition to the handful of practice questions we gave you, should be enough to get you reading a ruler in no time at all.
Do you have questions about fractions and decimals?Our expert guides will show you how to add and subtract fractions.
The rulers have only centimeters and millimeters on them.Did you know there’s an even tinier unit called nanometers?Our in-depth guide will show you how to convert nanometers to meters.
Do you know how to read Roman numerals?You’ll be on your way to understanding this ancient numerical system if you check out our detailed guide.
Hannah received her masters degree in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan.She taught English in Japan through the JET Program.She loves education, writing and travel.
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