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# How do you read millimeters on a ruler?

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A person measures in millimeters by comparing the length of the object in question with the tick marks on a metric ruler or the metric side of a standard ruler. The metric side is labeled in millimeters or centimeters with small tick marks that each represent one millimeter.

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The standard ruler maintained by the U.S. National Bureau of Standards measures 6 inches on one side and 15 centimeters on the other. These measured lengths are close to each other as 1 inch equals 2.54 centimeters, or 254 millimeters. Each centimeter equals 10 millimeters. A common ruler used by schoolchildren is twice as long, at 12 inches, or 30 centimeters.

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