In these lessons, we'll compare metric and imperial.
First, what is the metric system?
It's a system of measurement based on a number of fundamental or derived units.
These include kilograms, meters, square and cubic meters, liters and kilometers per hour.
The metric system's used to measure, for example, mass, distance, area, volume/capacity and speed.
Conversion factor |
Example | ||
Metric tons to kilograms (metric tons to kg) |
x 1000 |
1 metric ton = 1 x 1000 = 1000kg | |
Kilograms to metric tons (kg to metric tons) |
÷ 1000 |
1000kg = 1000 ÷ 1000 = 1 metric ton | |
Kilograms to grams (kg to g) |
x 1000 |
1kg = 1 x 1000 = 1000g | |
Grams to kilograms (g to kg) |
÷ 1000 |
1000g = 1000 ÷ 1000 = 1kg |
(kilo denotes one thousand)
Conversion factor |
Example | ||
Kilometers to meters (km to m) |
x 1000 |
1km = 1 x 1000 = 1000m | |
Meters to kilometers (m to km) |
÷ 1000 |
1000m = 1000 ÷ 1000 = 1km | |
Meters to centimeters (m to cm) |
x 100 |
1m = 1 x 100 = 100cm | |
Centimeters to meters (cm to m) |
÷ 100 |
100cm = 100 ÷ 100 = 1m | |
Centimeters to millimeters (cm to mm) |
x 10 |
100cm = 100 x 10 = 1000mm | |
Millimeters to centimeters (mm to cm) |
÷ 10 |
1000mm = 1000 ÷ 10 = 100cm |
(centi and milli denote one hundredth and one thousandth)
Conversion factor |
Example | ||
Hectares to square meters (ha to m²) |
x 10000 |
1ha = 1 x 10000 = 10000m² | |
Square meters to hectares (m² to ha) |
÷ 10000 |
10000m² = 10000 ÷ 10000 = 1ha | |
Square meters to square centimeters (m² to cm²) |
x 10000 |
1m² = 1 x 10000 = 10000cm² | |
Square centimeters to square meters (cm² to m²) |
÷ 10000 |
10000cm² = 10000 ÷ 10000 = 1m² |
(note 1m² = 1m x 1m = 100cm x 100cm = 10000cm²)
Capacity is the amount of space available to hold something. Volume is the amount of space actually taken up by that something. For example, milk of volume one liter takes up half the capacity of a two liter jug.
Conversion factor |
Example | ||
Cubic meters to cubic centimeters (m³ to cm³) |
x 1000000 |
1m³ = 1 x 1000000 = 1000000cm³ | |
Cubic centimeters to cubic meters (cm³ to m³) |
÷ 1000000 |
1000000cm³ = 1000000 ÷ 1000000 = 1m³ | |
Cubic centimeters to milliliters (cm³ to ml) |
= |
1cm³ = 1ml | |
Milliliters to cubic centimeters (ml to cm³) |
= |
1ml = 1cm³ | |
Liters to milliliters (l to ml) |
x 1000 |
1l = 1 x 1000 = 1000ml | |
Milliliters to liters (ml to l) |
÷ 1000 |
1000ml = 1000 ÷ 1000 = 1l | |
Cubic meters to liters (m³ to l) |
x 1000 |
1m³ = 1 x 1000 = 1000l | |
Liters to cubic meters (l to m³) |
÷ 1000 |
1000l = 1000 ÷ 1000 = 1m³ |
Conversion factor |
Example | ||
Kilometers per hour to meters per second (km/hr to m/s) |
÷ 3.6 |
3.6km/hr = 3.6 ÷ 3.6 = 1m/s | |
Meters per second to kilometers per hour (m/s to km/hr) |
x 3.6 |
1m/s = 1 x 3.6 = 3.6km/hr |
Okay, now you've considered what is the metric system and metric system units, let's move onto imperial units of measure.
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