Symbols of Feet and Inches – Why Are They Important?

In this post, we will discuss specifically symbols of feet and inches and why they are used. We will also perform calculations to convert them.

Do you know the metric system is the ideal and standard system in Europe and Canada, you might be familiar with it, and the imperial system of measurements is standard and preferred in the US. You may also be familiar with the imperial system of measurements.

It is so important to understand this imperial system of measurements because it plays a vital role in our lives in different areas. There are many symbols used in this system that you might encounter while shopping or in other daily activities. Because these measurement symbols are used for size specifications.

Lets get started:

Why Use Feet and Inches?

The imperial measurement system uses feet and inches to describe the size of objects. Feet is a larger unit of measurement than inches. One foot is equal to 12 inches. In other words, one foot contains 12 inches.

People use abbreviations and symbols of feet and inches when writing down the measurement of something. Since this is a smart and effective way to save time writing units and values repeatedly and multiple times.

Because there is no need to write down the complete word like feet or inches when you can simply use symbols to show units. Any reader can understand these units, there is no language barrier. 


What are the feet symbols?

Symbols of Inches

A single apostrophe (‘) is used as the symbol of feet in measuring. Let me give a quick example. If you want to write 5 feet, you will write 5’. It will be read as 5 feet. There is also an abbreviation of feet which represents feet in measuring terms. Which is ft. If you want to write 5 feet using an abbreviation, you can write 5 ft.

What is the inch symbol?

Screenshot 2022 11 08 at 5.51.25 PM

A double apostrophe (‘’) is the symbol of an inch in measuring terms. Let me give you an example. If you want to write 5 inches using a symbol, you can write 5’’. There is also an abbreviation for inches which is used to represent inches. Like you can write 5 inches as 5 in. Readers will easily understand.

Some quick examples of feet and inches

There is not much difference between the symbols for feet and inches if you are new to these symbols. But as you will be using them frequently, you will be familiar with them. 

Here I will give you some quick and easy examples using feet and inches symbols and abbreviations. In the future, you can easily understand them.

  • 5’ 7”, would read as 5 feet and 7 inches
  • 12 ft 5 ins, would read as twelve feet and five inches
  • 9 ft 4, it would read as nine feet and four inches

Why are symbols used actually?

Comprehensive and easy to understand:

Symbols are very comprehensive. These can be used all over the world. Symbols can be easily understood by the reader of any language. So there is no need to convert the words. If you are in any other country and there is a board of 20’ on the pool, it means the pool is 20 feet deep.

Speed and easy to write:

The main reason to use symbols instead of full words of feet and inches is to save time and increase writing speed.

If you work in the industry and take measurements more frequently. Like you work in the carpentry industry and take a lot of measurements, would you prefer writing the complete word or using the symbols? As a result, you will definitely prefer to use symbols for feet and inches in measuring and put more focus on the actual work. This is why symbols are used more often in the industry and in real life.


Symbols are also used for space-related purposes. Because if you look at the charts and graphs of measurements there are a lot of values in them. If the writer uses words to represent feet and inches, there will be no space left and the reading will look messy.

In carpentry, you write measurements on small pieces of wood, so you can’t write a complete sentence on a small piece of wood. 

Conversions of units:

Inches to feet:

If you want to convert inches to feet, it is very easy in the imperial system. There are 12 inches in a foot, as I mentioned above. If you are measuring something that is longer or bigger than 12 inches, you can simply convert it to feet.

If your value in inches is divisible by 12, the conversion to feet will be much easier. In this example, you have 36 inches, so you divide 36 inches by 12 and your answer is 3. Which means 36 inches are equal to 3 feet.

If you have a number that is not divisible by 12, there will be some leftover after division and your answer will be in points. For example, if you want to convert 45 inches into feet, 45 inches will be divided by 12. If 48 inches is equal to 4 feet and your value was 50 inches. So your answer will be 4 feet 2 inches. Which you can also write as 4’2’’.

Feet to inches:

As we have converted inches to feet you can also convert feet to inches. As we were dividing values by 12 to get feet, we needed to reverse the calculation. Now we will multiply with 12 to convert, feet to inches.

Let’s say you have a value of 3 feet and you want to convert it to inches. All you need to do is multiply this by 12. If we multiply 3*12, your answer will be 36. Which means 3 feet is equal to 36 inches.


So in this post, I have tried to cover symbols of feet and inches in detail and how you can convert inches to feet and vice versa. Additionally, I provided strong reasons why symbols are used in the world and their benefits. 

If you still have questions or suggestions about symbols or conversions. Do not hesitate to contact us or comment below.

Leave a Comment