Metric System: Definition, Conversion, and Chart

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Metric System

The metric system of measurement is the most standard way of measuring distance, height and is also used for calculating many more day-to-day activities.

For instance, Gauri drinks 10 ml of water.

This metric system is used in various fields such as that of science, medicine and so on. Each object is measured according to its length, volume, weight, and time in various manner. This concept of metric system was introduced with the above-mentioned measurements only.

The three main basic units of metric system are;

Metre, a unit use to calculate length of an object.

Kilograms, a unit which is used to measure mass of an object.

Second, a unit of time.

Origin of Metric System

Medication is defined as a process that implements the international system of units called as SI unit. Metric system is followed by nearly all countries except United States, Myanmar, and Liberia.

The United States further introduced its own system of units or system of metric units which is now called as United States customary units.

Difference Between USCS and SI Units

The United States metric units are also called as “imperial units.” The key difference between the SI units and the American metric units is the terms and the form of units used. For instance, In SI unit, the length is measured using the metre whereas In USCS foot is used for measurement.

Metric System Units

Metric unitsGiven below are some of the most used metric units;


This unit length is used for measuring the size of an object or the distance that an object travels from one end to the other end.

There are different units of length which are metre, kilometers, feet etc. The most common tool which is used to measure length is called a ruler.

For Example; The height of this blackboard is about 3 metres.

Smallest unit of measuring length is millimeter and the largest unit is kilometers

1 kilometer = 1000 metre

1 inch =2.5 centimeter


Weight is the unit that is use to measure the mass of an object. The standard unit that is used for the measurement of mass is kilogram, gram ton etc.

The most common tool which is used to measure the weight of an object is the weighing scale.

For instance; the weight of this bottle is 250 grams.

1 kilogram =1000 gram


Capacity is the unit which is used to measure the volume or space occupied by an object or matter. The standard unit used for measurement of capacity is litre. Other units used for measurement of capacity are milliliter etc.

For example; 500 liters of milk

1 litre = 1000 ml

1 cup=250 ml


The standard unit for measurement of time is seconds. Other metric units of time are minutes, hours etc.

1 minute = 60 seconds

1 hour= 60 minutes

1 day = 24 hours

1 week = 7 days

Some few common units based-on metre, kilograms and seconds are;

Speed: Speed is defined as a distance travelled divided by total time taken by an object.

SI unit of speed is metre /second or m/s.

Acceleration: Acceleration is defined as the changes in velocity.

When a runner accelerates from 10 m/s (10 meter per second) to 11 m/s (11 meters per second) in just one second, thus they accelerate by 1 meter per second per second.

SI unit of acceleration is m/s2

Advantages of Metric System

• The metric system allows us to alter the units by changing the decimal to a new place value.

• Metric system is used for easy calculations as metric units generally increase or decrease in a multiple of 10.

For example; there are 1000 grams in 1 kg so one gram is equal to 1/1000 kilogram.

• Nearly all countries use this metric system.

• It has standardized prefix such as gram, kilogram milligram etc.

• Scientists who work in diverse countries need this standardized system that permits them to compare notes and comprehend one another. Without a standard system, they would waste their precious time on converting measurements from one system of measurement to another, and thus accuracy level would also suffer. SI is the most favored system because, among other reasons, it isn’t built on the body parts of society who lived periods ago.

• It’s a well-designed and simple system built on a universal standard that can be confirmed by anyone.

Disadvantages of Metric System

The only drawback in using this metric system is that it is not very well suitable if we work in fractions.

Metric System Citations


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