Lineal vs Linear: The Difference Explained

Lineal vs linear

Lineal and linear are two words that are often confused with each other. They both have to do with direction, but they have very different meanings.

In this blog post, we will explore the difference between lineal vs linear and provide examples of each. We will also discuss which word is more appropriate in certain situations.

What Is The Difference Between Lineal And Linear?

The difference between Lineal and Linear is that Lineal is typically used to describe a family ancestry, while Linear is used to describe a straight line of measurement.

Linear lumber feet is 12 inches long regardless of the width amount. Lineal or lineage is defined as a direct line of descent from an ancestor. In other words, it is the family tree. Like being the lineal descendant of a family member.

Lineal can also refer to items arranged in lines such as books on multiple books shelves and Linear can refer to a train track because it follows a “direct course”.

Both words have multiple meanings, so be sure to use the context clues to determine which meaning is intended.

As you can see, there is a big difference between the two words, so be sure to use them correctly!

Which Word Is More Appropriate In Certain Situations?

Lineal is more appropriate to use when referring to a family tree or lineage, whereas linear is more appropriate when referring to a straight line.

Both words can be used to describe progression, but linear progression would refer to moving forward in even, steady increments while lineal progression might refer to growing taller over time. Linear also has mathematical connotations which lineal does not share.

To sum it up, if you’re referring to a family tree, go with lineal. If you’re referring to anything else, linear is probably the word you want.

Examples Of Each Word In Use.

An example of using linear would be ordering a certain amount of linear feet of lumber from a lumber company. This is an alternate measurement to purchasing lumber per board feet.

An example using Lineal would be if you were speaking about someone’s ancestry. You would use the word lineal to describe if someone is directly related to someone else in their family tree.

How To Remember The Difference Between Lineal And Linear.

An easy to remember the difference between lineal and linear are to think of the words synonyms.

Synonyms For Lineal:

  • Familial – Lineage – Running in the family – Inherited

Synonyms For Linear:

  • Straight – Direct – Straightforward

Is It Linear Or Lineal Foot?

The correct term is Linear Foot. A Lineal Foot is a unit of measure equal to 12 inches (30.48 cm). This term is used mainly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

In construction, a linear foot (often called simply “foot” or “lineal foot”) is exactly one foot long on whatever length scale the builder is using (usually inches, feet, or meters). It is used for lumber, piping, and other materials that are sold in pre-cut lengths.

(Linear foot is also the term used in surveying.)

There are other measures of length, such as the square foot (one square foot = one linear foot times one linear foot) and the cubic foot (one cubic foot = one linear foot times one linear foot times one linear foot). But when you’re talking about lumber or pipes or any other material that’s sold by the foot, it’s always a linear foot.

Board Feet vs Linear Feet

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Linear Feet Abbreviation

LF is the standard abbreviation for linear feet. It is commonly used in construction, engineering, and surveying. LF measures 12 inches (one foot) in length. Linear feet are often used to measure lumber, carpeting, and other long, narrow objects.

For example, if you need to buy 30 feet of lumber, you would ask for 30 linear feet (30 LF). The store would then cut the lumber into 30 one-foot pieces.

Linear feet are also used to measure length in surveying and engineering. In surveying, land is often measured in acres. However, when measuring buildings or other structures, linear feet are more accurate.

Plural Of Linear

The plural word to describe Linear is “linears”. Linear means something that is arranged in a line, or straight line. When you have more than one line, it’s called “linear”. If you’re looking at a graph of data points and trying to find a relationship between them, the term “linear” is used to describe how the data are related. In other words, linear relationships can be graphed as a straight line and these would be linears.

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Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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