Main content

### Course: Basic geometry and measurement > Unit 5

Lesson 6: Converting to larger or smaller- Converting units: metric distance
- Converting units: centimeters to meters
- Convert units (metrics)
- Metric units of mass review (g and kg)
- Metric units of length review (mm, cm, m, & km)
- Metric units of volume review (L and mL)
- U.S. customary and metric units

© 2024 Khan AcademyTerms of usePrivacy PolicyCookie Notice

# Converting units: metric distance

Learn all about converting different metric units to a common unit, in this case, meters. Understand the prefixes like deca, hecto, kilo, milli, and centi, and how they relate to the base unit, meter. This helps us compare and order different measurements. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

- Isnt Milli Million?(65 votes)
- They are all wrong, milli means thousand. Like how a millimeter is 1/1000 of a liter. Sorry to say you wrong, but it’s true(24 votes)

- Has anyone actually heard "decameter" other than in a school discussion of metric units? My web browser's spell-checker doesn't even like the word "decameter."(23 votes)
- Perhaps it would work if you spell it as "dekameter". It is not much used because people tend to confure it was decimeter (which is used much more). In general we just talk about meters or kilometers. In case of areas (farmers in my country for example) talk about hectometers, but never dekameters. It is just a standard SI unit, you must learn it at school :)...(19 votes)

- what does metric mean in the title(14 votes)
- The word “metric” means measurement and describes a system of units based on powers of 10. The metric system uses prefixes on units to represent powers of 10. For example:

micro means 1/1,000,000;

milli means 1/1,000;

centi means 1/100;

deci means 1/10;

deka means 10;

hecto means 100;

kilo means 1,000; and

mega means 1,000,000.

So, for example, a milligram is 1/1,000 of a gram, and a hectometer is 100 meters.(25 votes)

- Is there a measurements that are more than kilo?(11 votes)
- Yes a tonne which is more than a kilo, its equivalent to 1000 kilograms.(9 votes)

- Is there anything smaller than milli?(6 votes)
- Yes! Some smaller prefixes include: Micro (0.000,001), nano (0.000,000,001), and pico (0.000,000,000,001). Commas are in the decimal to show every three didgets - like in non-decimals.(14 votes)

- Is there a type of meter that compares to 1,000,000?(12 votes)
- Yes, there are different types of meters that can be compared to 1,000,000. For example, 1 million meters is equal to 1,000 kilometers1. Another example is that a square kilometer is one-million square meters2. I hope this helps!(4 votes)

- whats a decameter(3 votes)
- A decameter is ten meters.

Similar to how a DECade is ten years.

It's all in the prefix of the word.

Dec = 10

Mil = 1000 - like millenium or 1000 years(12 votes)

- this confusing can anyone help?(7 votes)
- how do you do a problem if you have a question like 100m= _mm(6 votes)
- The problem would be asking you to multiply. I have an annotation that helps me remember my metric units. King Henry Died Unexpectedly Drinking Chocolate Milk. Kilo, Hecto, Deca, Units, Deci, Centi, Milli. The m falls under units and the mm stands for Millimeters. Since millimeters are 1/1000 of a meter, you would multiply 100 by 1000.

I hope this helped!(2 votes)

- If you can read this.... You can read really well. Good job, have a cookie!(6 votes)

## Video transcript

We're asked to arrange the
following measurements in order from smallest to largest. And we have the measurements,
and they're different units. This is in decameters,
then we have meters, then we have millimeters,
then we have centimeters. So the way I would
tackle this is I would try to convert them
all to the same units, maybe meters, and then compare
them all in terms of meters. So let's do that. So this is just a screenshot of
that exact same screen we just saw there. And so let's just convert
each of these into meters. So the first one we have right
over here is one decameter. So we have to remind ourselves
what deca even means. Well, deca is
equal to 10 meters. And actually, let me
add more of these, just so that we know all
the different prefixes we could have. So you have deca. You have hecto,
which would be 100. You have kilo, which
would be 1,000. And then, of course,
you just have meters, and you'd have no prefix there. That would just
be equal 1 if you have no prefix in
front of the meters. And then if you have
a tenth of a meter, that is decimeter,
so this is 1/10. Then you have centi,
which is 1/100. And then you have milli,
which is equal to 1/1,000. So let's use this
information right over here to figure out how many
meters each of these are. So one decameter-- we
just saw deca means 10. That's 1 times 10 meters. So this is going to
be equal to 10 meters. So this right over
here is 10 meters. This is already
written in meters. This is 13 meters. Then we have 15,000 millimeters,
but milli means 1/1,000, So it's 15,000 times
1/1,000 of a meter. So each millimeter is
1/1,000 of a meter. You could view this as instead
of writing a milli here, I wrote 1/1,000. So 15,000 times 1/1,000, that's
just going to give me 15. So this is going
to be 15 meters. So this is 15 meters. Another way of thinking
about it is, look, 1,000 millimeters
is equal to a meter. So let's divide this
into groups of 1,000. Well, this is literally
15 groups of 1,000. This is 15 groups of
1,000 millimeters, so that's going to be 15 meters. And then, finally, we
have 1,900 centimeters. So 1,900, instead
of writing centi, I'm going to write
1/100 of a meter. Well, 1,900 times
1 over 100 is 19, so this is equal to 19 meters. Another way of
thinking about it is, this is 19 groups
of 100 centimeters, and 100 centimeters
is equal to a meter. This is 19 meters
right over here. So let's go back to
the actual problem. So let's remind ourselves. This right over here,
this is 10 meters. This is 13 meters, so 10, 13. This right over
here was 15 meters, and this right over
here was 19 meters. So actually, the order that they
already gave it to us in, we could obviously swap things
around if we wanted to. But the order that
they already gave it to was the order from
smallest to largest. This is 10 meters, 13 meters,
15 meters, and 19 meters.