Standard Units of Measurement for Length, Weight and Capacity
The metric system of measurement which is used all over the world is based on the multiples of 10. The 3 basic units used to measure length, weight and capacity are called the standard units.
The standard unit for measuring length is metre (m), the standard unit for measuring weight is kilogram (kg) and the standard unit for measuring capacity is litre (L).
Some other bigger and smaller units are also used to measure the length, weight and capacity.
Short Forms for Metric Units
Conversion of Metric Units of Measurements
You can convert metric units of length, weight and capacity from one unit to another by multiplying and dividing the power of ten.
Conversion of Metric Units of Measurements using the powers of ten involves moving the decimal point.
The following table will help you to convert the metric units.
Metric Unit

kilo

hecto

deca

(base unit)
metre/gram/litre

deci

centi

milli

Symbol

k

h

da

m/g/L

d

c

m

Number

1000

100

10

1

0.1

0.01

0.001

Conversion of Measures of Length
We can use the following relations for Conversion of Metric Units of Lengths.
10 Millimetres = 1 Centimetre
10 Centimetres = 1 Decimetre
10 Decimetres = 1 Metre
10 Metres = 1 Decametre
10 Decametres = 1 Hectometre
10
Hectometres = 1 Kilometre
Conversion of Measures of Weight (Mass)
We can use the following relations for Conversion of Metric Units of Weights.
10 Milligrams = 1 Centigram
10 Centigrams = 1 Decigram
10 Decigrams = 1 Gram
10 Grams = 1 Decagram
10 Decagrams = 1 Hectogram
10
Hectograms = 1 Kilogram
Conversion of Measures of Capacity
We can use the following relations for Conversion of Metric Units of Capacity.
10 Millilitres = 1 Centilitre
10 Centilitres = 1 Decilitre
10 Decilitres = 1 Litre
10 Litres = 1 Decalitre
10 Decalitres = 1 Hectolitre
10
Hectolitres = 1 Kilolitre
Here is a
Conversion Problem.
90 cm = –––––––– mm
When you convert a larger unit to
a smaller unit, multiply the number by a power of 10. 1 centimetre is equal to
10 millimetres. You multiply by a power of ten. Therefore, multiply 90 cm by
10.
90 cm × 10 = –––––––– mm
Move the decimal point one place
to the right when multiplying by 10. Since the decimal point in a whole number
is after the number, add a zero placeholder to 90.
90 cm = 900 mm
Let’s look at this one involving capacity.
1650 mL = –––––––– L
When you convert a smaller unit to a larger unit,
divide the number by a power of ten. Since 1000 millilitres is equal to 1
litre, divide 1650 millilitres by 1000.
1650 mL ÷ 1000 = –––––––– L
Move the decimal point three places to the left
when dividing by 1000.
1650 millilitres = 1.65 litres
Any unit of measure can be converted as long as you
know the conversion equivalents and remember how to use powers of ten to move
the decimal point to the left or to the right.
Conversion from Bigger Units to Smaller Units
To convert
from bigger units to smaller units, we multiply.
Example 1: Convert 3 m 7 dm 4 cm 2 mm to millimetres.
Solution: Since,
1 m = 1000 mm, 1 dm = 100 mm and 1 cm = 10 mm.
We multiply each unit with its
equivalent value in millimetre.
So, 3 × 1000 + 7 × 100 + 4 × 10 +
2
= 3000 + 700 + 40 + 2 = 3742 mm
Example 2: Convert 5 kg 2 hg 3 dag 3 g to grams.
Solution: 8
× 1000 + 2 × 100 + 3 × 10 + 3 (Converting each unit into gram)
= 8000 + 200 + 30 + 3 = 8233 g
Example 3: Convert 5 L 3 dL 4 cL 5 mL to millilitres.
Solution: 7
× 1000 + 3 × 100 + 4 × 10 + 5 (Converting each unit into mL)
= 7000 + 300 + 40 + 5 = 7345 mL
Conversion from Smaller Units to Bigger Units
To convert
from bigger units to smaller units, we divide by 10.
Example 1: Convert 56394 mm into bigger units.
Solution:
56394 mm = 5 dam 6 m 3 dm 9 cm 4 mm
Example 2: Convert 1394856 mg into bigger units.
Solution:
1394856 mg = 1 kg 3 hg 9 dag 4 g 8
dg 5 cg 6 mg
Example 3: Convert 3468 mL into bigger units.
Solution:
3468 mL = 3L 4 dL 6 cL 8 mL