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Converting Between Measurements To convert from one unit of length to another, unit fractions may be used. A unit fraction is a fraction that equals 1. To convert 60 inches to feet, multiply by a unit fraction that relates feet to inches. The unit fraction should be written so that the units we are converting to, feet, are in the numerator and the original units, inches, are in the denominator. Unit fraction units converting to 60 in. 6 0 in. 1 1 ft 1 2 in. 6 0 1 ft 1 12 original units 6 0 ft 12 5 ft Metric System of Measurement The basic unit of length in the metric system is the meter. A meter is slightly longer than a yard. It is approximately 39.37 inches long. Like the decimal system, the metric system uses powers of ten to define units. Metric System of Measurement Metric System of Measurement Prefix kilo Meaning hecto deka 1000 100 deci centi 10 milli 1/10 1/100 1/1000 Metric Unit of Length 1 kilometer (km) 1000 meters (m) 1 hectometer (hm) 100 m 1 dekameter (dam) 10 m 1 meter (m) 1 m 1 decimeter (dm) 1/10 or 0.1 m 1 centimeter (cm) 1/100 or 0.01 m 1 millimeter (mm) 1/1000 or 0.001 m Metric System of Measurement The most commonly used measurements of length in the metric system are the meter, millimeter, centimeter, and kilometer. Converting Between Measurements As with the U.S. system of measurement, unit fractions may be used to convert from one unit of length to another. The major advantage of the metric system is the ease of converting from one unit of length to another. Since all units of length are powers of 10 of the meter, converting from one unit of length to another is as simple as moving the decimal point. Converting Between Measurements Listing units of length in order from largest to smallest helps keep track of how many places to move the decimal point when converting. Start km hm dam m dm End cm mm 2 units to the right Using the listing of units of length, convert 3.5 m to centimeters. 3.50 m = 350. cm or 350 cm 2 places to the right Mass – Metric System The prefixes for units of mass in the metric system are the same as for units of length. Metric System of Measurement Prefix kilo Meaning hecto deka 1000 100 deci centi 10 milli 1/10 1/100 1/1000 Metric Unit of Length 1 kilogram (kg) 1000 grams (g) 1 hectogram (hg) 100 g 1 dekagram (dag) 10 g 1 gram (g) 1 g 1 decigram (dg) 1/10 or 0.1 g 1 centigram (cg) 1/100 or 0.01 g 1 milligram (mg) 1/1000 or 0.001 g Mass – Metric System The three most commonly used units of mass in the metric system are the milligram, the gram, and the kilogram. As with length, all units of mass are powers of 10 of the gram, so converting from one unit of mass to another only involves moving the decimal point. End kg hg dag g dg Start cg mg 2 units to the left Using the listing of units of mass, convert 4.75 cg to grams. 04.75 cg = 0.0475 g 2 places to the left Examples Use unit multipliers to convert the following: ① 58 meters to centimeters ② 1000 meters to kilometers ③ 48,000 milligrams to grams ④ 486 kilograms to grams ⑤ 538 centimeters to meters