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10.05 Convert units of capacity


Are you ready?

If we can multiply and divide by  powers  of 10, that will help us in this lesson. Let's try a problem to practice.


Example 1

Find the value of 6.41 \times 1000.

Worked Solution
Create a strategy

When we multiply by 1000, each digit moves three places to the left in the place value table.

Apply the idea

Write 6.41 in a place value table:


When we multiply by 1000, the digits move 3 place values to the left in the table. We can use zeros as place holders. The decimal point should stay where it is.


6.41 \times 1000 = 6410

Idea summary

The powers of 10 to remember are: 10, \, 100, \, 1000 and 10\,000.

When we multiply or divide by a power of 10, each digit of our number moves up or down by as many place value positions as there are zeros.

Convert capacity

This video shows some strategies for converting between units of capacity.

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Example 2

Convert 4920 millilitres to litres.

Worked Solution
Create a strategy

Remember that 1 litre = 1000 millilitres.

To convert millilitres to litres, divide by 1000.

Apply the idea

Here is 4920 in a place value table.


To divide by 1000 we move each digit to the right three places.


4920 \div 1000 = 4.92

4920 millilitres = 4.92 litres.

Idea summary

When you convert from a larger unit to a smaller unit (e.g. \text{L} to \text{mL}), you multiply.

When you convert from a smaller unit to a larger unit (e.g.\text{ mL} to \text{L}), you divide.

A diagram that shows how to convert between kilolitres, litres, and millilitres. Ask your teacher for more information.



selects and uses the appropriate unit to estimate, measure and calculate volumes and capacities, and converts between units of capacity

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