Unit 17 Section 2 : Conversion between metric units

In this section we will learn how to convert between metric units of length, mass and capacity.

The units we will be working with are:
Lengthkilometre (km), metre (m), centimetre (cm), millimetre (mm)
Masstonne (t), kilogram (kg), gram (g)
Capacitylitre (l), millilitre (ml)
You might have noticed that some of the units have the same prefixes, like kilo-, milli- and centi-.
kilo- means thousand, as in "one kilometre is a thousand metres"
milli- means thousandth, as in "one millimetre is a thousandth of a metre"
centi- means hundredth, as in "one centimetre is a hundredth of a metre"

For any two metric units, you convert from the larger unit to the smaller by multiplying by one of 10, 100, 1000 etc.
The reverse is also true; you can convert from a smaller unit to a larger by dividing by one of 10, 100, 1000 etc.
Have a look at the examples below to see how this works:
It is also useful to know that 1 cm3 = 1 millilitre (ml).

Practice Questions

Work out the answer to each of these questions then click on the button marked Click on this button below to see the correct answer to see whether you are correct.

Practice Question 1
(a) Convert 150 cm into metres.

(b) Convert 360 mm into metres.

(c) Convert 3.6 tonnes into kilograms.

(d) Convert 62 ml into litres

(e) Convert 2100 cm3 into litres

Practice Question 2
John adds 250 ml of water to a jug that already contains 1.2 litres of water.
How much water is now in the jug?



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Question 1
Change the following lengths into mm:
(a) 4 cm      mm
(b) 7 cm      mm
(c) 26 cm      mm
(d) 835 cm      mm
(e) 6.2 cm      mm
(f) 14.7 cm      mm
(g) 9.25 cm      mm
(h) 0.04 cm      mm
Change the following lengths into cm:
(i) 60 mm      cm
(j) 80 mm      cm
(k) 340 mm      cm
(l) 9450 mm      cm
(m) 87 mm      cm
(n) 262 mm      cm
(o) 67.9 mm      cm
(p) 6 mm      cm
Question 2
Change the following lengths into cm:
(a) 7 m      cm
(b) 18 m      cm
(c) 36 m      cm
(d) 904 m      cm
(e) 4.3 m      cm
(f) 53.9 m      cm
(g) 28.38 m      cm
(h) 0.09 m      cm
Change the following lengths into m:
(i) 800 cm      m
(j) 500 cm      m
(k) 760 cm      m
(l) 2150 cm      m
(m) 365 cm      m
(n) 57 cm      m
(o) 77.6 cm      m
(p) 6 cm      m
Question 3
Change the following lengths into m:
(a) 5 km      m
(b) 11 km      m
(c) 63 km      m
(d) 423 km      m
(e) 7.4 km      m
(f) 2.56 km      m
(g) 14.321 km      m
(h) 0.07 km      m
Change the following lengths into km:
(i) 6000 m      km
(j) 17000 m      km
(k) 53000 m      km
(l) 4750 m      km
(m) 807 m      km
(n) 62 m      km
(o) 3 m      km
(p) 29.3 m      km
Question 4
Change the following masses into g:
(a) 6 kg      g
(b) 8 kg      g
(c) 15 kg      g
(d) 92 kg      g
(e) 1.7 kg      g
(f) 5.47 kg      g
(g) 2.925 kg      g
(h) 0.004 kg      g
Change the following masses into kg:
(i) 3000 g      kg
(j) 40000 g      kg
(k) 8340 g      kg
(l) 29750 g      kg
(m) 237 g      kg
(n) 52 g      kg
(o) 9 g      kg
(p) 3.6 g      kg
Question 5
(a) Convert 320 mm into metres      m
(b) Convert 6420 mm into metres      m
(c) Convert 642 mm into metres      m
(d) Convert 888 cm into metres      m
(e) Convert 224 cm into millimetres      mm
(f) Convert 45 m into millimetres      mm
(g) Convert 320 m into centimetres      cm
(h) Convert 8.73 m into millimetres      mm
Question 6
Convert the following masses to kg:
(a) 8.2 tonnes      kg
(b) 160 tonnes      kg
(c) 88 g      kg
(d) 3470 g      kg
Question 7
Convert the following masses to g:
(a) 3.6 kg      g
(b) 3.7 tonnes      g
(c) 8000 milligrams      g
(d) 620 milligrams      g
Question 8
Convert the following to ml:
(a) 0.25 litres      ml
(b) 22 litres      ml
(c) 0.75 litres      ml
(d) 450 cm3      ml
Question 9
Convert the following to litres:
(a) 4740 ml      litres
(b) 64 ml      litres
(c) 300 ml      litres
(d) 3600 cm3      litres
Question 10
A cake recipe requires 0.25 kg of flour.
Rachel has 550 grams of flour.

How much flour will she have left when she has made the cake?
(a) Give your answer in grams:
(b) Give your answer in kilograms:

Question 11
A chemistry teacher requires 250 milligrams of a chemical for an experiment.
He has 30 grams of the chemical.

How many times can he carry out the experiment?

Question 12
A bottle contains 1.5 litres of cola.
Hannah drinks 300 ml of the cola and then Ben drinks 450 ml.

How much of the cola is left?
(a) Give your answer in ml:
(b) Give your answer in litres:

Question 13
Emma estimates that the mass of one sweet is 20 grams.
A packet contains 0.36 kg of these sweets.

How many sweets would you expect to find in the packet?

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Produced by A.J. Reynolds August 2008