Convert Metric Masses

Metric Mass: Learn

The gram is the metric unit of mass, which can then be modified with the usual metric prefixes.

  • A kilogram is 1000 grams
  • A hectogram is 100 grams
  • A decagram is 10 grams
  • A gram is the stem unit
  • A decigram is 1/10 gram
  • A centigram is 1/100 gram
  • A milligram is 1/1000 gram

As we move down the units, the next unit is one tenth as heavy. As we move upward, each unit is 10 times as heavy.

To convert metric mass among the units, count the number of steps between the units and multiply by 10. If the conversion is decreasing the units of mass, form a fraction with your result as the denominator and 1 as the numerator.

Example: There is 1/1,000 of a decagram in a centigram.

To compare two metric masses with different prefixes, convert them to become the same prefix, then compare like any other numbers. Sometimes it's easiest to convert both to grams.

Example: One hundred milligrams, which is 1/10 gram (100/1000=1/10) are heavier than one centigram (1/100th gram).

Metric Mass: Practice

Convert the units.


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