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Understanding metric units. Choosing the most suitable metric unit of measurement in different situations.

Updated on August 18, 2011


Thought I would write this hub to help you understand metric measurements of length, weight and volume. The main metric units of length are:

millimetres (1 mm is about the width of a tip of a pencil)

centimetres (1 cm is about the length of a fingernail)

metres (1m is about the height of a young child)

kilometres (1 km is the distance around 2 ½ athletic tracks)

The main metric units of weight are:

grams (1g is about the weight of a small insect)

kilograms (1kg is about the weight of a bag of sugar or flour)

ton (1 ton is about the weight of an elephant)

The main metric units of volume (capacity) are:

millilitres (1ml is about the volume of small water drop)

centilitres (1cl is about the volume of a mouthful of water)

litres (1l is about the volume of a carton of milk)

Let’s take a look at some examples of choosing which metric unit will be the most suitable form of measurement in different circumstances.

The length of a pen.

The best unit of measure here would be to use centimetres.

The weight of an apple.

The best unit of measure here would be to use grams.

The volume of water in a bath.

The best unit of measure here would be to use litres.

The weight of a jumbo jet.

The best unit of measure here would be to use tons.

The length of a football pitch.

The best unit of measure here would be to use metres.

The volume of a can of pop.

The best unit of measure here would be to use millilitres.

The length of an ant.

The best unit of measure here would be to use millimetres.

The weight of a large sofa.

The best unit of measure here would be in kilograms.

The distance from London to Paris.

The best unit of measure here would be in kilometres.

The height of a building.

The best unit of measure here would be in metres.

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