How to Convert Fahrenheit to Celsius

Formula to Convert Fahrenheit to Celsius

Animaged gif of conversion formula from Fahrenheit to Celsius
Illustration by Hugo Lin. ThoughtCo. 

Fahrenheit and Celsius are two common temperature scales, most often used for reporting room temperature, weather, and water temperature. The Fahrenheit scale is used in the United States. The Celsius scale is used worldwide. It's easy to convert Fahrenheit (°F) to Celsius (°C):

Fahrenheit To Celsius Conversion Formula

C = 5/9 (F-32)

where C is the temperature in Celsius and F is the temperature in Fahrenheit

How To Convert Temperatures

It is easy to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius with these three steps.

  1. Subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit temperature.
  2. Multiply this number by 5.
  3. Divide this number by 9.

The answer will be the temperature in degrees Celsius.

Fahrenheit To Celsius Temperature Conversion

For example, let's say you want to convert normal human body temperature (98.6°F) to Celsius. Plug the Fahrenheit temperature into the formula:

C = 5/9 (F - 32)
C = 5/9 (98.6 - 32)
C = 5/9 (66.6)
C = 37°C

Check your answer to make sure it makes sense. At ordinary temperatures, a Celsius value is always lower than the corresponding Fahrenheit value. Also, it's helpful to keep in mind the Celsius scale is based on the freezing point and boiling point of water, where 0°C is the freezing point and 100°C is the boiling point. On the Fahrenheit scale, water freezes at 32°F and boils at 212°F. The Fahrenheit and Celsius scales read the same temperature at -40°.

More Temperature Conversions

Do you need to perform the conversion the other direction? What about the Kelvin scale? Here are more examples to help you with conversions: