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Understand Metric Units of Capacity

In this worksheet, students will practise converting into different units of measurement (involving the base word 'litre') so that they are finding and expressing equivalent capacities.

'Understand Metric Units of Capacity' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   Maths

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Eduqas, Pearson Edexcel, OCR

Curriculum topic:   Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change, Mensuration

Curriculum subtopic:   Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change, Units and Measurement

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

There are a number of units that can be used to describe capacity.

We are going to focus on the most common of these in this activity, which is the metric measurement Litre.

 

All of the units you will have heard of are based around the base word 'litre' with other words tacked on to describe their relationships, e.g. 

Kilolitre - 'Kilo' means 1000 so 1 kl = 1000 l  (This is rarely used.)

Centilitre - 'Centi' means 100 so 1 l = 100 cl

Millilitre - 'Milli' means 1000 so 1 l = 1000 ml

Decilitre - 'Deci' means 10 so 1 l = 10 dl

 

 

How to Convert Between Different Units of Capacity -

Step 1: Decide on our conversion factor (i.e. litre to millilitre requires a conversion factor of 1000);

Step 2: Either multiply or divide by this factor to reach our converted value. 

 

 

Let's look at this process in practice now using some examples. 

 

 

e.g. Convert 45 litre into centilitres.

 

Step 1: Decide on our conversion factor.

1 l = 100 cl so our conversion factor is 100.

 

Step 2: Multiply / divide by this factor. 

We need to think about this a little to decide whether to multiply or divide.

One way to think about this to help make our decision is that centilitres are much smaller than litres, so there will need to be more of them overall.

To create a number which is greater than our starting total, we need to multiply

45 × 100 = 4500 cl

 

So 45 litres is the same as 4,500 centilitres. 

 

 

 

Let's try another example to check we really understand this process. 

 

 

e.g. Convert 750 ml to l.

 

Step 1: 

1000 ml = 1 l so our conversion factor is 1000.

 

Step 2:

This time, a litre is bigger than a centilitre, so there will need to be less of them overall.

To create a number which is greater than our starting total, we need to divide: ​

750 ÷ 1000 = 0.75 l

 

So 750 millilitres is equivalent to 0.75 litres. 

 

 

 

In this activity, we will convert amounts into different units of measurement (involving the base word 'litre') so that we are finding and expressing equivalent capacities, using the methods described above. 

How many centilitres (cl) are in one litre (l)? 

How many litres (l) are in one kilolitre (kl)? 

What is the answer if we convert 17 centilitres (cl) into millilitres (ml)?

0.17 ml

170 ml

1700 ml

What is the answer if we convert 3.7 litres (l) into centilitres (cl)?

370

0.037

3700

Select if the following conversions have been calculated correctly or not by marking each as either 'Correct' or 'Incorrect'.

Select if the following conversions have been calculated correctly or not by marking each as either 'Correct' or 'Incorrect'.

Match each prefix below with its correct conversion factor. 

Column A

Column B

Kilo-
100
Centi-
1000
Milli-
1000/10
Deci-
10

Convert 25 cl into l

 

You do not need to write a unit with your answer, as one has been provided for you. 

Column A

Column B

Kilo-
100
Centi-
1000
Milli-
1000/10
Deci-
10

Convert 4.3 l into ml

 

You do not need to write a unit with your answer, as one has been provided for you. 

Column A

Column B

Kilo-
100
Centi-
1000
Milli-
1000/10
Deci-
10

Convert 2.9 l into cl

 

This time, you will need to type the correct unit of measurement too. 

  • Question 1

How many centilitres (cl) are in one litre (l)? 

CORRECT ANSWER
100
EDDIE SAYS
The prefix 'centi-' means 100, so there must be 100 cl in a litre. If you found this tricky, review the definitions in the Introduction before you move on to the rest of this activity.
  • Question 2

How many litres (l) are in one kilolitre (kl)? 

CORRECT ANSWER
1000
EDDIE SAYS
The prefix 'kilo-' means 1000, so there must be 1000 litres in a kilolitre. Does that make sense?
  • Question 3

What is the answer if we convert 17 centilitres (cl) into millilitres (ml)?

CORRECT ANSWER
170 ml
EDDIE SAYS
We know that there are 10 millilitres in a centilitre, so the conversion factor we need to use here is 10. But do we need to multiply or divide by this factor? It may help to think that millilitres are smaller than centilitres, so there will need to be more of them. To create a larger starting value than our original, we need to multiply: 17 × 10 = 170
  • Question 4

What is the answer if we convert 3.7 litres (l) into centilitres (cl)?

CORRECT ANSWER
370
EDDIE SAYS
We know that there are 100 centilitres in a litre, so the conversion factor we need to use here is 100. But do we need to multiply or divide this time? It may help to think that centilitres are smaller than litres, so there will need to be more of them again. To create a larger starting value than our original, we need to multiply: 3.7 × 100 = 370
  • Question 5

Select if the following conversions have been calculated correctly or not by marking each as either 'Correct' or 'Incorrect'.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember to apply the conversion factors which we explored in the Introduction? Try to commit these four conversions to memory: ml to l = 1000 (ml to cl = 100) kl to l = 1000 cl to l = 100 dl to l = 10 Let's work through each conversion and check if our answer matches the one provided. cl > l = 100; litres are larger than centilitres so there will need to be less of them 37 ÷ 100 = 0.37 l which does not match the answer provided so this conversion is incorrect ml > l = 1000; litres are larger than millilitres so there will need to be less of them 3700 ÷ 1000 = 3.7 l which matches the answer provided so this conversion is correct kl > l = 1000; litres are smaller than kilolitres so there will need to be more of them 3.2 × 1000 = 3200 l which does not match the answer provided so this conversion is incorrect too Were you able to find the one correct conversion here?
  • Question 6

Select if the following conversions have been calculated correctly or not by marking each as either 'Correct' or 'Incorrect'.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember the conversion factors we need to use by heart? ml to l = 1000 (ml to cl = 100) kl to l = 1000 cl to l = 100 dl to l = 10 ml > cl = 10; centilitres are larger than millilitres so there will need to be less of them 32 ÷ 10 = 3.2 cl which matches the answer provided so this conversion is correct cl > l = 100; litres are larger than centilitres so there will need to be less of them 425 ÷ 100 = 4.25 l which also matches the answer provided so this conversion is correct too l > kl = 1000; kilolitres are larger than litres so there will need to be less of them 35300 ÷ 1000 = 35.3 kl which does not match the answer provided so this conversion is incorrect Were you able to find the two correct conversions this time?
  • Question 7

Match each prefix below with its correct conversion factor. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Kilo-
1000
Centi-
100
Milli-
1000/10
Deci-
10
EDDIE SAYS
The easiest way to remember some of these terms is to think about other words that share the same sound. 'Centi' sounds like century so 100 years. 'Deci' sounds like decade so 10 years. 'Milli' sounds like millenium, which is 100 years. You can also think of them as being in the same families as another measurements which you may already know by heart (e.g. kilogram). These little quirks of language can help you to remember these conversions a little easier.
  • Question 8

Convert 25 cl into l

 

You do not need to write a unit with your answer, as one has been provided for you. 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you use the correct conversion factor here? 1 l = 100 cl Remember that litres are larger than centilitres, so we will need to have less of them. This means we need to divide: 25 ÷ 100 = 0.25 l
  • Question 9

Convert 4.3 l into ml

 

You do not need to write a unit with your answer, as one has been provided for you. 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you use the correct conversion factor here? 1 l = 1000 ml Remember that millilitres are smaller than litres, so we will need to have more of them. This means we need to multiply: 4.3 × 1000 = 4300 ml
  • Question 10

Convert 2.9 l into cl

 

This time, you will need to type the correct unit of measurement too. 

CORRECT ANSWER
290 cl
290 cL
290 centilitres
EDDIE SAYS
1 l = 100 cl Remember that centilitres are smaller than litres, so we will need to have more of them. This means we need to multiply: 2.9 × 100 = 290 cl Did you remember to include the correct unit of measurement this time? Great work completing this activity. You can now convert amounts between different units of measurement to find equivalent capacities.
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