Practical help

Are you confident or nervous with using metric units? Many British people have learned to calculate in metric in school yet have been taught practical skills in imperial. This means that they may lack a confidence in using metric even if they calculate in metric. This part of the UKMA website aims to offer you basic help which you can use metric on a daily basis.

Food and Cooking

Although most modern recipes are metric many people are unsure what quantities to order and are confused by pricing used by retailers.

Find out basic rules of thumb for cooking with metric and find out about pitfalls and good tips for buying food.

Measuring jug

Using metric for building

Jeff Howell – bricklayer, university lecturer and journalist – explains why it makes sense to use metric for building.

J Howell

Measure right

Have you ever run into difficulties in measuring with metric? Find out how dual unit tapes can make measuring in metric difficult.

Measuring with dual tape

Find out how you can buy metric-only tapes in Britain. Find out why using metric can help you in buying household appliances.

Metric good for mountaineeering

Scottish mountaineer and photographer Hamish Brown explains how mountaineers like to use metric.

Hamish Brown


Become used to using only Celsius. If possible, buy a thermometer without Fahrenheit markings. If you cannot buy one locally, try the metric-only store or buy one next time you visit the Continent.

If you really do not understand Celsius try the following rhymes

When it’s zero it’s freezing,
when it’s 10 it’s not
when it’s 20 it’s warm
when it’s 30 it’s hot.


30’s hot
20’s nice
10’s cold
zero’s ice

How to buy food

Roz Denny – home economist and author – gives useful tips for planning how much food to buy in metric.

Roz Denny