Knowing what the conversion rates are between common units of measurement, whether it's for a math problem or a recipe, can save you a lot of trouble. One critical conversion you should know is that between pints and gallons, which are used to measure liquid volume in the US.
How many pints in a gallon? How many pints in a half gallon? Read on to find the answers and to get tips for remembering these important conversions.
Briefly: US Customary Units vs Imperial System
In the US, we use the imperial system to measure (as opposed to the metric system), which has units such as gallons, pints, feet, inches, miles, etc. When measuring liquid volume specifically, we use the following units (from biggest to smallest):
- Fluid ounce
Now, here's where things get a little confusing. Though the US uses the imperial system, some of its unit measurements differ slightly from those of the imperial system. In other words, you could say that the US has its own version of the imperial system, called "US customary units."
For example, when it comes to liquid volume, the US pint (473.176 milliliters) is technically smaller than the British imperial pint (568.261 milliliters).
In this article, then, when we ask, "How many pints in a gallon?" we're actually asking, "How many pints in a gallon (US version)?" Hopefully, this clears things up for you!
How Many Pints in a Gallon (US Version)?
There are 8 pints (pt) in 1 gallon (gal). This means that 1 pint equals 1/8 gallon.
So if you have a gallon of milk in your fridge, this would be equivalent to 8 pints of milk. Or, say you filled up your car with a half gallon of gas; this would be the same as 4 pints of gasoline (because 4 is half of 8).
Here’s a handy table you can use to quickly convert between pints and gallons:
|Gallon (gal)||Pint (pt)|
|3 gal||24 pt|
|2 gal||16 pt|
|1 gal||8 pt|
|1/2 gal||4 pt|
|1/4 gal||2 pt|
|1/8 gal||1 pt|
As you can see, there’s a clear pattern when converting between gallons and pints: all you need to do is multiply the number of gallons you have by 8 to get the equivalent amount in pints.
Let's look at an example, Say you are trying to figure out how many pints are in 1/4 gallon of water. By multiplying 1/4 by 8, you get 2, which is equal to the number of pints in 1/4 gallon.
If you wanted to do the opposite and convert from pints to gallons, take the number of pints you have and divide it by 8.
For instance, pretend you have 12 1-pint cups filled with lemonade and you want to know whether the liquid in these cups will fit within a 1-gallon container. To calculate how many gallons are in 12 pints, divide 12 by 8; this equals 1.5, or 1 1/2 gallons of lemonade, meaning that you’d need more than just a 1-gallon container for all the lemonade you have.
So to recap: how many pints in a gallon (US version)? 8. Again, this means that 1 pint equals 1/8 gallon. And how many pints in a half gallon? 4.
But what if you need to convert between other US liquid measurements, such as cups and quarts? Read on for an even more detailed conversion chart!
US Imperial Liquid Measurements Conversion Chart
You already know how many pints are in 1 gallon, but did you know there’s a whole different unit—quarts—that comes between gallons and pints? And did you know you can measure out pints using only liquid measuring cups?
In the US, we use the following imperial units to measure liquid volume (from biggest to smallest):
- 2 cups = 1 pint
- 2 pints = 1 quart
- 4 quarts = 1 gallon
This chart shows all the major conversions for US imperial liquid (volume) measurements:
|Gallon (gal)||Quart (qt)||Pint (pt)||Cup (c)|
|1 gal||4 qt||8 pt||16 c|
|3/4 gal||3 qt||6 pt||12 c|
|2/3 gal||2 2/3 qt||5 1/3 pt||10 2/3 c|
|1/2 gal||2 qt||4 pt||8 c|
|3/8 gal||1 1/2 qt||3 pt||6 c|
|1/3 gal||1 1/3 qt||2 2/3 pt||5 1/3 c|
|1/4 gal||1 qt||2 pt||4 c|
|1/6 gal||2/3 qt||1 1/3 pt||2 2/3 c|
|1/8 gal||1/2 qt||1 pt||2 c|
|1/16 gal||1/4 qt||1/2 pt||1 c|
That’s a lot of conversions to remember! Fortunately, you don’t need to memorize all of them.
Remembering US Liquid Measurement Conversions: 3 Tips
Don’t get overwhelmed by all those conversions in the charts above. To convert between gallons, quarts, pints, and cups, you really just need to know three essential conversion factors, which we introduce here.
#1: For Gallons to Pints, Multiply by 8
While we’ve spent plenty of time answering the question, "How many pints in a gallon?" let’s make sure that you truly understand the conversion factor at play here.
If you need to convert gallons to pints, all you have to do is multiply the number of gallons by 8 to get its equivalent in pints. And if you need to convert from pints to gallons, simply switch the operation: divide the number of pints by 8 to get its equivalent in gallons.
It’s really that simple! No need to memorize all those conversions above—you can figure out all of these on your own, as long as you know the basic conversion factor.
#2: For Gallons to Quarts, Multiply by 4
As you know, quarts are bigger than pints; thus, there are fewer quarts (4) than there are pints (8) in 1 gallon. In other words, 4 quarts make up 1 gallon (and 1 quart is equal to 1/4 gallon).
To convert from gallons to quarts, multiply the number of gallons you have by 4. And, if you’re converting from quarts to gallons, do the opposite and divide by 4.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to remember this conversion factor: just think of 4 quarts in a gallon as being the four quarters that make up a whole!
#3: For Quarts to Pints AND Pints to Cups, Multiply by 2
For the smallest of the liquid measuring units we gave you above, the conversion factor is an easy-to-remember 2. What this means is that to convert quarts to pints and pints to cups, you multiply by 2, or just double the number of quarts/pints you have.
This also means that to convert from cups to pints and pints to quarts, you just divide by 2, or take half the number you have.
So, really, the conversions look like this:
- 2 cups = 1 pint
- 2 pints = 1 quart
- 4 quarts = 1 gallon
If you ever forget how many quarts are in a gallon, you can jog your memory by just adding the 2s together here to get 4; this should remind you that there are 4 quarts in a gallon.
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Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.