The rulers that we use normally for measuring lengths indicate the units of inches , millimeters , centimeters etc but do not show any such units like 5' or 6 - 1/2" .

But actually in various domains of ruler measurement, different types of symbols are used to represent different measuring units.

In the same context the apostrophe symbol (') and double quote symbol (") are used to indicate the units of foot and inch respectively.

These types of symbols are used in the wood works for showing the lengths of wood pieces. The wood cutter cuts the boards of wood according to the measurement given in the above units. But these symbols can be understood easily only by those people working in that particular domain.

Thus, the actual mean of 5' 6 - 1/2" is five feet, six and one twos inches.

The term "five feet" becomes clear but it is still confusing because of the six and one twos inches. In order to understand it we need an appropriate subdivision of an inch. The subdivision of an inch varies across the rulers.

Usually each inch is subdivided into 16 equal parts. Therefore we can see the partition of 16 lines at equal intervals between two inches marks (it means one inch). The 1/2 means the half of an inch consisting of 8 of these lines.

But actually in various domains of ruler measurement, different types of symbols are used to represent different measuring units.

In the same context the apostrophe symbol (') and double quote symbol (") are used to indicate the units of foot and inch respectively.

These types of symbols are used in the wood works for showing the lengths of wood pieces. The wood cutter cuts the boards of wood according to the measurement given in the above units. But these symbols can be understood easily only by those people working in that particular domain.

Thus, the actual mean of 5' 6 - 1/2" is five feet, six and one twos inches.

The term "five feet" becomes clear but it is still confusing because of the six and one twos inches. In order to understand it we need an appropriate subdivision of an inch. The subdivision of an inch varies across the rulers.

Usually each inch is subdivided into 16 equal parts. Therefore we can see the partition of 16 lines at equal intervals between two inches marks (it means one inch). The 1/2 means the half of an inch consisting of 8 of these lines.