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How Many Cups Are In A Pint? | Science Trends

How Many Cups Are In A Pint?

Exactly how many cups are in a pint? There are 2 cups in one pint, when measured in the United States customary units. While this seems like a simple answer, there are actually different ways of measuring cups and pints, and for this reason, the answer to this question is more complicated than it may initially appear.

Let’s take a look at how both cups and pints are measured, and understand the different definitions that might be used when determining how many cups fit into a pint.

The Cup Unit Of Measurement

Cups are a unit of measurement, specifically a unit of volume of measurement. The most common use for measuring in cups is when determining serving sizes and/or when cooking. The common or traditional definition of a cup is half a liquid pint when measuring in the United States customary units, yet the cup is also defined in the metric system with a value somewhere between 1/5th and one-fourth of a liter.

Different nations and different measurement systems have their own exact specifications for the volume of the cup. Let’s go over some of the different ways cups are quantified.

The United States has two different methods of defining the volume of the cup. A cup has a definition in a legal sense and in the customary or regular sense. In the United States customary system, one cup is defined by the United States law as being equal to 240 mL, or approximately 8.12 customary fluid ounces. Note that there is a difference between ounces in US customary units and US Imperial units, and for this reason, cups are equivalent to about 8.45 Imperial fluid ounces, slightly more than the US amount. Meanwhile, the customary definition of a cup is that it is one half of a US customary pint, one-fourth of a quart, and 1/16 of a gallon. Cups are also equal to 8 fluid ounces or 16 tablespoons.

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The Commonwealth of Nations is a political association including over 50 different member states, most of which belonged to the British Empire at some point or another. Great Britain, Canada, Australia, India, and various nations across Africa are member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. These nations have a system of measurement that is similar to the system of measurement used by the international system of units but isn’t exactly equivalent. The “metric cup” is used by New Zealand, Canada, and Australia as a well as some other Commonwealth nations. Under this system of measurement, 1 cup is equivalent to 250 mL, a value that is about 5.07 customary fluid ounces in the United States. Canada had its own definition of cup, though it now mainly uses the metric cup that is 250 mL. A traditional Canadian cup was equal to eight Imperial fluid ounces or 227 mL.

The standardized cup in the United Kingdom was at one time set at half an Imperial pint or 10 Imperial fluid ounces. This proved to be rarely used, and the metric cup is used instead of when ingredients can be measured by weight and require a volume measurement.

Other nations like Japan, Russia and various nations across Latin America have their own measurements that translate roughly to “cup” and typically have a similar volume around 1/5th to 1/4th or a liter. While these aren’t exactly equivalent to metric cups, they bear mentioning.

Japan has a unit of measurement, called the gō, very similar in size to the cup, being approximately 180 mL. While the unit of measurement is rarely used by modern Japan, it is occasionally used to measure out amounts of sake and rice. The regular Japanese standardized cup has a definition of being equal to 200 mL. Russia has additional cup sizes, including the “glass” measurement which is equivalent to approximately 246 mL, used to measure nonalcoholic liquids. Meanwhile, the “cup proper” was used to measure out alcoholic liquids and is equivalent to 123 mL. Since the revision of the metric system, the cup proper was redefined as being equivalent to 100 mL while the glass measurement sizes are 200 mL and 250 mL respectively.

The Pint Unit Of Measurement

The pint is traditionally considered equivalent to 1/8th of a gallon in both the United States customary units system and the Imperial measurement system. However, due to the fact that the US unit system and the Imperial system have different volume definitions, the American pint is actually about 20% smaller than the British Imperial pint. The Imperial pint is equivalent to approximately 568 mL while the US customary pint is considered equivalent to around 473 mL. When the Commonwealth of Nations converted to the metric system during the 60s and 70s, the pint was given up in favor of measuring things in liters. While pints may still be used in these countries, the definition of pint may have changed, no longer referencing the British Imperial pint.

While there is some historical reference to a dry pint, a pint used to measure the volume of dry goods rather than liquid goods, the dry pint is very rarely used. For the sake of a complete list, the US dry pint is considered equivalent to about 1/8th of a dry gallon or 550.61 mL.

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Scotland has a now largely obsolete pint measurement equipment to three Imperial pints. France has a similar unit of measurement referred to as a “pinte” though it is not equivalent to the English pint, having a volume of 48 French cubic inches (952.1 ml). Canada has different definitions for pints and pintes. One pint is considered equivalent to 1/8th of a gallon in English, but the pinte is considered equivalent to 1/4th of a gallon.

Australia allegedly has different pint measurements for pints of beer in different states, with South Australia having a pint that is equivalent to 425 ml, while other regions of Australia use an Imperial pint for their beer pints.

Other Differences Between Imperial Measurements And US Customary Measurements

The United States customary system and the Imperial system of measurement are rather similar to each other, with units of length like the cubic inch, cubic foot, and cubic mile being basically the same, with only a few small differences. However, units of volume can differ substantially between the two different systems. One example is the difference that exists between the Imperial gallon and the US fluid gallon. The US gallon is defined as being approximately equivalent to 3.785 L or 231 in.³ while the Imperial gallon is defined as 4.54609 L.

Another difference between the two systems of measurement is that, since American and Canadian brewers use fluid ounces to measure their beer, the amount of alcohol in a bottle of beer is different. American brewers use the US customary 12 fluid ounces – equivalent to around 355 mL, while Canadian brewers use the Imperial fluid ounce, equivalent to approximately 341 mL.

In terms of measurements of distance, there are some differences between the US customary system and the Imperial system, though the two systems are largely the same. One of the differences between the two systems is that the survey foot and survey mile are their own separate units with their own values in the US system. The reason this is so is that the US surveying system would have accumulated errors otherwise. In the US system, the 1 meter is equivalent to 39.378 inches, while the international foot has a value of approximately 0.3048 meters. If these differences weren’t accounted for, there would be a difference of 3.2mm every mile.

Converting Between Cups/Pints And Milliliters

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Let’s go over how you can convert between cups and milliliters and pints and milliliters. As mentioned, there are different measurements for different kinds of cups (US, Imperial, etc.) so the formula for the calculation must take these differences into account.

Since 1 US customary cup is equivalent to approximately 236.58 milliliters, just multiply the number of cups you have by that number. Or conversely, if you wish to find out how many cups are in a milliliter value of liquid, just divide the number of milliliters you have by 236.58. The conversion process is equivalent for determining how many milliliters are in a number of Imperial cups, with the only difference being you multiply by 284.13 instead.

Because there are two cups in a pint, you can divide the number of cups of a liquid by 2 to get how many pints of a substance you have. If you have 568 milliliters of water, that’s equivalent to two Imperial cups, which you just have to divide by two to get one Imperial pint. If you have a number of cups, you can multiply the result by two to get the value in pints. For instance, if you have 1124 milliliters of a liquid, that is equivalent to two Imperial pints. To get this value in cups, just multiply the number of pints by 2, to get four Imperial cups worth of liquid. The process is the same for the US pint measurement, but you’ll use 473 milliliters instead of 568 milliliters.


About The Author

Daniel obtained his BS and is pursuing a Master's degree in the science of Human-Computer Interaction. He hopes to work on projects which bridge the sciences and humanities. His background in education and training is diverse including education in computer science, communication theory, psychology, and philosophy. He aims to create content that educates, persuades, entertains and inspires.