Measuring the Length of an Object (Measurement of an Object) - BYJUS

Measuring the Length of an Object

We measure length primarily to understand the distance between two points and to find the size of objects. But the length can be measured using different methods. And the measurements of length can be expressed using different units. We choose the method of measurement and the unit of length depending on what we want to measure....Read MoreRead Less

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Olivia built a home comprising two bedrooms. She wishes to install a glass window. The carpenter tells her that he will have to measure the length and width of the window to buy some glass for it. Carpenters measure things all the time. Have you tried measuring something before? We are required to measure different things in our daily life and different measurements are expressed in different units.



We cannot measure the length of a pencil and the distance between our school and home using the same units of measurement. To measure the length of a pencil, we need smaller units like centimeters or inches, whereas, when we measure the distance between our school and home, we need a bigger unit like meters or miles. Also, to make our judgments more dependable and accurate, we need a standard unit of measurement.          



The term “height” is frequently used to describe how tall someone or something is.




We can compare our height as we grow older. We frequently make comparisons between the average heights of men and women from various countries, for example.


In mathematics, height is defined as the vertical distance between an object’s top and bottom. It is measured in centimetres, inches, metres, and other units.

The term “length” refers to the measurement of distance. In other words, the distance measured from one end to the other is called its length. Most measurement systems choose a base unit for length from which all other units are derived. We use inch rulers to measure shorter lengths. To measure greater lengths, we generally use yardsticks. To measure the straight or flat length we use a tape measure. Some units are also made up of other units such as a foot is made of inches and a yard is made up  of a few inches.


1 foot = 12 inches


1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches


Example 1 : Will a small pair of scissors fit inside a pouch that is a foot long? Explain.


Solution :

A pair of scissors is about 5 or 6 inches.

As we know, 1 foot = 12 inches.

So, the scissors will surely fit inside the pouch.

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The unit “centimeter” is used to measure the length of objects like erasers, pencils, tables, etc.




Here we are looking at measuring the length of the pencil in centimeters with the help of a ruler.


Example 1 : Your friend says a car has a length of about 5. Is the car about 5 meters long or 5 centimeters long?


Solution :

The car is about 5 meters long because we use “meters” to measure objects bigger in length.



An “inch” is used to measure the length of objects like bags, pencils, calculators, clothes, etc.


When we measure  length in inches, we put the scale close to the end of the object. So just like a foot is made up of 12 inches,an inch is made of 2.54 centimeters.


1 foot = 12 inches


1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.



A “foot” is also a  standard unit of measurement. It helps us in determining the length of an object or even the height of a person. They can also assist us in determining the distance between two points. ‘Feet’ is the plural form of the word ‘foot,’ which refers to a single unit of measurement.


Usually, we measure the height of a building in feet.


1 foot = 12 inches


1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches


Example 1 : Would you use centimeters, inches, or feet to measure the length of the table as shown in the figure?





Solution : The length of the table in inches is 63.5 inches.

The length of the table in feet is about 5.29 feet

Hence we can use  both inches and feet to measure the length of the table.



A “meter” is the base unit of length or distance. It is used to measure  length and distances just like feet, miles or kilometers.


1 meter = 100 centimeters



A “yard” is used to measure the length of objects. Each yard is either 3 feet or 36-inches.  The yard originated as a unit of measurement in England as a unit of measuring land. It is used in both the British imperial and US customary measurement systems.


1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches


Here is a table that would help us see the conversions between units:



A ruler is a measuring instrument that has two sides. One side measures the length in inches and the other side measures it in centimeters. Rulers have markings on them that indicate the distance that has been measured.




Example 1:Use the inch tile to measure the length of this spoon.




Answer: 5 inches 


Example 2: Identify the object and measure its height.




Answer: The object is a dustbin, and its length is 50 centimeters or close to about 20 inches.



Example 3: Whose path to school is longer?





Your path:


The distance between the house and the playground is 50 yards.


The distance between the playground and the school is 9  yards.


The distance covered from the house to the school: 50 + 9 = 59 yards.


Your friend’s path:


The distance from the house to the school: 7 + 22 = 29 yards.


Hence, your path is longer than your friend’s path.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We can’t measure the length and height of the basketball owing to its shape. However  we can find the circumference of a basketball.

We generally use an inch ruler when we need to measure shorter lengths.

A yardstick is a long measuring tool that may be used to measure distances of up to three feet or more. A yardstick might be used by a carpenter to measure the lengths of wood properly before cutting them. A yardstick is essentially a long ruler — three times as long as a foot long ruler, to be precise — with inches as the unit of measurement.