Capacity
Lesson
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Metric Units of Capacity 

Capacity is the amount a container can hold.

The milliliter (mL) is a metric unit used to measure the capacities of small containers.

The liter (L) is equal to 1,000 mL, so it is used to measure the capacities of larger containers.

1  mL

1 metric cup = 250 mL

1 liter

 

 

Metric Units of Capacity

 

Name

Abbreviation Number of Base Units Approximate Comparison  
Liter L 1

Half a large bottle of soda

 
Milliliter mL 1/1000

Half of an eyedropper

 

 

Conversions

The chart above shows the relationships between the units of milliliter and liter. You can use the chart to change a measurement from one unit to another unit.
How many milliliters are in a 3-liter bottle? To change from a larger unit of volume to a smaller unit of volume, multiply.
1 liter =  ___ milliliters Think: 1 L = 1000 mL
3 x 1000 = 3000 3 meters = 3000 milliliters
How many liters are in 5,000 mL? To change from a smaller unit of volume to a larger unit of volume, divide.
5000 mL = ___ L Think: 1000 mL = 1 L
5000 divided by 1000 = 5  5000 milliliters = 5 liters


Remember:

To measure an object that has a small capacity, use milliliters

To measure an object that has a larger capacity, use liters.

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Topic Index | Grade 4 Math | Elementary Test Prep | StudyZone

Created by Carol Carroll
Updated by Nicole Freebern
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