# How to verbalize the correct statement of mixed units?

I want help phrasing the instructions in a math question. The issue is the correct way to express mixed units.

For example, if an answer is “25 inches,” I don’t want to accept “25 inches” or “1 foot 13 inches,” but only “2 feet 1 inch.”

I guess you might say that I want the total number of units to be small as possible. But I don’t think anyone would understand what I meant by that. Similarly, I don't think it would do to say that I want the answer "simplified."

• Is this about giving the final answer to a problem in a particular way, such as "find the perimeter of the circle, giving your answer in terms of feet and inches", or is the question itself about just rewriting a dimensioned object, such as "rewrite 215 inches in terms of feet and inches"? Mar 27, 2019 at 21:28
• @Nick C The former. One problem gives the base and height of a triangle, each in feet and inches, and asks for the area in square feet and square inches. Mar 27, 2019 at 21:50
• Aahh the joy of non-SI-units. I agree that 1 foot 13 inches is bad, but I 'd be fine with both alternatives. Mar 27, 2019 at 22:17
• In SI 25 cm would be simply 2.5*10^-1 m, because meters is the base unit for length. Chaim, why won't you switch to SI instead? Mar 27, 2019 at 23:44
• Maybe something like "use larger units if values larger than 1 are possible"? Still sounds kludgy without an example. By the way, 2640 ft is 880 yd or 0.5 mi ? According to your pattern it should be 880 yd, but I think 0.5 mi is much clearer to everyone. Mar 28, 2019 at 16:05