Converting Between Yards, Feet, and Inches

Hi, and welcome this video lesson on inches, feet, and yards. The more you deal with measurements of distance the more you realize they can kind of be confusing. Today we’re on lay a foundation to help you better understand inches, feet, and yards, and converting back and forth between those units.

Let’s take a look at a few examples to get started. First, let’s start with a simple idea: the inch. Since the 7th century, the inch has been a unit of measurement in England and then, much later, in the US. For a long time, it was defined as a width of an average man’s thumb, but today we have a standard around the world, and that is what you see on rulers and tape measures.

Next, we’re going to talk about the foot. A foot is made up of 12 inches, but it wasn’t always the standard, as even the ancient Greeks used a version of what we know as a foot. Most rulers are a foot long. Most people’s height is given in feet and then inches, so it’s really important that we understand what foot is.

Finally, we arrive at the yard. The yard has been used for 100s of years and became what we know today through cutting cloth in 1-yard lengths. As you may know, 1 yard is made up of 3 feet. Now it’s the hard part, the math. If there are 12 inches in a foot and 3 feet in a yard, how many inches are in a yard?

This is just a simple multiplication problem, so don’t get confused or scared by all the crazy words that we’re using—inches, feet, and yards— simply look at the numbers. There are 12 inches in 1 foot. Ok, so great, 12, we know that that is what a foot is, and there are 3 feet in a yard.

How many inches are in a yard? We only have to multiply 12 times 3, and we all know that ends up being 36. Now for something a little bit trickier: simplify 323 inches into yards, feet, and inches. Well, to find the yard we have to divide by 36 inches, that gives us 8 with the remainder of 35.

Do you see how I did that? 1 yard is 36 inches, that goes into 323 8 times, and then we have that remainder of 35. Now we want to find how many feet are leftover. Now we divide 35 by 12 because we want to know how many feet can go into 35 inches, and it looks like 2. Now there’s still some left over, 11 inches, but now we have our answer.

There are 8 yards, 2 feet, and 11 inches in 323 inches. Make sense? Now, for one last piece of information before you do an on your own problem: there are 5,280 feet in 1 mile. Don’t forget that, okay? Tim lives 1/4 mile from Ramona. How many yards is that? I’ll give you a second to try to figure it out by yourself, so go ahead pause the video until you’re ready.

All right, to find our answer it’s pretty simple. We know that we want to find how many feet are in a 1/4 of a mile, so we divide 5,280 by 4, that gives us 1/4 of a mile, should be 1,320. Now, we want to know what our answer might be in yards, so all we have to do is divide 1,320 by 3. Make sense? That gives us 440 yards. Make sense? I hope that helps. Thanks so much for watching this video lesson, and until next time, as always, happy studying!

Practice Questions

Question #1:

Convert 7 yards to feet.

23 feet

21 feet

43 feet

10 feet

The correct answer is 21 feet. There are 3 feet in 1 yard, so multiply the number of yards (7) by 3 to get that there are 21 feet in 7 yards. Or use conversion fractions like this:
$$7\text{ yd}\times\frac{3\text{ ft}}{1\text{ yd}}=21\text{ ft}$$

Question #2:

Convert 23 inches to yards.

1.92 yd

7.67 yd

0.64 yd

69 yd

The correct answer is 0.64 yards. There are 36 inches in a yard, so divide 23 by 36 to find out there are 0.64 yards in 23 inches. Or use conversion fractions like so:
$$23\text{ in}\times\frac{1\text{ ft}}{12\text{ in}}\times\frac{1\text{ yd}}{3\text{ ft}}=0.64\text{ yd}$$

Question #3:

Thomas runs 2 miles every morning. How many inches does he run? (Hint: 5,280 ft = 1 mi)

126,720 in

10,560 in

7,255 in

1,324 in

The correct answer is 126,720 in. Since there are 5,280 feet in 1 mile and 12 inches in a foot, set up conversion fractions like this and solve:
$$2\text{ mi}\times\frac{5,280\text{ ft}}{1\text{ mi}}\times\frac{12\text{ in}}{1\text{ ft}}=126,720\text{ in}$$

Question #4:

Samantha wants to create a garden that is 15 feet long and 7 feet wide. What is the perimeter of the garden in yards?

84.67 yd

132 yd

44 yd

14.67 yd

The correct answer is 14.67 yd. First, use the perimeter formula to find the perimeter of the garden in feet.
$$P=2l+w=215\text{ ft}+7\text{ ft}=222\text{ ft}=44\text{ ft}$$

Then, convert 44 feet to yards. Remember, there are 3 feet in 1 yard.
$$44\text{ ft}\times\frac{1\text{ yd}}{3\text{ ft}}=14.67\text{ yd}$$

Question #5:

Samuel’s favorite track and field event is the 100-yard dash. What is the length of this race in feet?

33.3 ft

300 ft

600 ft

1,200 ft

$$100\text{ yd}\times\frac{3\text{ ft}}{1\text{ yd}}=300\text{ ft}$$