Convert Metric Units of Length
 Convert Metric Units of Length
 Understanding Converting Metric Units of Length
 Convert Metric Units of Length – StepbyStep Examples
 Convert Metric Units of Length – Guided Practice
 Convert Metric Units of Length – Application
 Convert Metric Units of Length – Summary
 Convert Metric Units of Length – Frequently Asked Questions
Learning text on the topic Convert Metric Units of Length
Convert Metric Units of Length
Welcome to a learning text on converting metric units of length! This topic is crucial for understanding how different length units like millimeters, centimeters, meters, and kilometers relate to each other in the metric system. If you need some background learning on metric measurements, then check out Millimeters, Centimeters, Meters, and Kilometers first! Mastering this topic will assist you in everyday measurements and math problems involving length. Let's dive in and make these conversions easy to grasp.
Understanding Converting Metric Units of Length
Converting metric units of length means changing a measurement from one unit, like centimeters, to another, like meters, within the metric system.
To convert between these units, we use multiplication or division based on their relationship to each other.
When converting from a smaller unit to a larger unit, you use division. When converting from a larger unit to a smaller unit, you use multiplication. Here's a detailed explanation:
 Converting between Millimeters and Centimeters: Since there are 10 millimeters in a centimeter, to convert millimeters to centimeters, you divide the number of millimeters by 10. To convert centimeters to millimeters, multiply the number of centimeters by 10.
 Converting between Centimeters and Meters: There are 100 centimeters in a meter. To convert centimeters to meters, divide the number of centimeters by 100. To convert meters to centimeters, multiply the number of meters by 100.
 Converting between Meters and Kilometers: One kilometer equals 1000 meters. To find out how many kilometers are in a certain number of meters, divide the number of meters by 1000. To find out how many meters are in a certain number of kilometers, multiply the number of kilometers by 1000.
Here's a simple table to help you remember these key conversions:
Unit  Equals 

1 centimeter  10 millimeters 
1 meter  100 centimeters 
1 kilometer  1000 meters 
Let’s check your understanding before we practice converting metric units of length.
Convert Metric Units of Length – StepbyStep Examples
Now we can walk through how to convert metric units of lengths with two examples. Make sure to follow along carefully to understand the stepbystep solution.
First, let’s convert 500 millimeters to centimeters.
Understand the Relationship: Remember that 1 centimeter is equal to 10 millimeters. This means for every 10 millimeters, we have 1 centimeter.
Set Up the Operation: Since you have 500 millimeters, and you need to find out how many centimeters that is, you'll divide since you are converting a smaller unit to a larger unit.
Calculate: Perform the division: 500 ÷ 10 = 50.
Conclusion: So, 500 millimeters are equal to 50 centimeters.
Now let’s convert 3 meters to centimeters.
Understand the Relationship: Remember that 1 meter equals 100 centimeters.
Set Up the Operation: You have 3 meters, and you want to know how many centimeters that is. Since each meter is 100 centimeters, you will multiply, since you are converting a larger unit to a smaller unit.
Calculate: Perform the multiplication: 3 x 100 = 300.
Conclusion: Therefore, 3 meters equals 300 centimeters.
Following these steps and thought processes as you convert metric units of length will help you. Make a note of the steps if you need to!
Convert Metric Units of Length – Guided Practice
Let’s walk through two problems together this time.
How many meters are in 250 centimeters?
How many meters are there in 5 kilometers?
Convert Metric Units of Length – Application
Now you are ready to solve conversions of metric units of length on your own! Try these four questions independently.
Convert Metric Units of Length – Summary
Key Learnings from this Text:
 Converting between millimeters, centimeters, meters, and kilometers is straightforward with basic multiplication or division.
 Remember key conversions: 10 millimeters in a centimeter, 100 centimeters in a meter, 1000 meters in a kilometer.
 The steps to convert are easy: first, understand the relationship, then set up the calculation, and finally complete the calculation.
Explore more on our platform with interactive practice problems, engaging videos, and printable worksheets to enhance your learning experience.
Convert Metric Units of Length – Frequently Asked Questions
Convert Metric Units of Length exercise

Can you complete the table?
HintsRecall the abbreviations:
 km = kilometers
 m = meters
 cm = centimeters
 mm = millimeters
To find the number of meters in 1 kilometer, multiply 1 by 1,000.
To find the number of centimeters in 1 meter, multiply 1 by 100.
To find the number of millimeters in 1 centimeter, multiply 1 by 10.
Solution1 km (kilometer) = 1,000 m (meter)
1 m (meter) = 100 cm (centimeter)
1 cm (centimeter) = 10 mm (millimeter)

Can you find the equivalent lengths?
HintsRemember:
1 km (kilometer) = 1,000 m
1 m (meter) = 100 cm
1 cm (centimetre) = 10 mm (millimetres)
If you are converting from a smaller unit to a larger unit, use division.
 200 cm to m  divide 200 by 100 to get 2 m.
 2 m to cm  multiply 2 by 100 to get 200 cm.
For example, if we are looking for a matching pair for 400 mm, we can divide 400 by 10 to convert to cm.
400 $\div$ 10 = 40
As another example, if we are looking for a matching pair for 80 cm, we can multiply 80 by 10 to convert to mm.
80 x 10 = 800
Solution 400 mm = 40 cm 400 $\div$ 10 = 40
 80 cm = 800 mm 80 x 10 = 800
 4 m = 400 cm 4 x 100 = 400
 8 km = 8,000 m 8 x 1,000 = 8,000
 8,000 mm = 800 cm 8,000 $\div$ 10 = 800

Can you convert the lengths?
HintsRemember:
1 km (kilometer) = 1,000 m
1 m (meter) = 100 cm
1 cm (centimetre) = 10 mm (millimetres)
To convert meters to centimeters, multiply by 100.
To convert meters to kilometers, divide by 1,000.
To convert centimeters to millimeters, multiply by 10.
SolutionPeter measured the length of his garden to be 12 meters. This would be 1,200 centimeters.
 Multiply 12 by 100 to convert 12 meters to 1,200 centimeters.
Logan is running 5 kilometers for charity. This is 5,000 meters.
 Divide 5,000 by 1,000 to convert 5,000 meters to 5 kilometers.
The pencil is 190 millimeters. This is 19 centimeters.
 Multiply 19 by 10 to convert 19 centimeters to 190 millimeters.

Can you put the lengths in order?
HintsConvert all lengths to the same unit to make comparison easier.
Remember:
1 km (kilometer) = 1,000 m
1 m (meter) = 100 cm
1 cm (centimeter) = 10 mm (millimeters)
For the first set, convert all length to millimeters by multiplying the lengths in centimeters by 10.
You can then order these lengths: 120 mm, 145 mm, 100 mm (10cm), 120 mm and 130 mm (13 cm).
Solution1.10 cm, 120 mm, 13 cm, 140 mm, 145 mm
If we convert all lengths to mm (by multiplying lengths in cm by 10), we get:
 100 mm (10 cm x 10)
 120 mm
 130 mm (13 cm x 10)
 140 mm
 145 mm
2.1,000 m, 2 km, 2,200 m, 2,700 m, 3 km
3.1 m, 114 cm, 1,400 mm, 2 m, 201 cm

How many metres is 600 centimeters?
Hints1 m = 100 cm
To convert centimeters (cm) to meters (m), divide by 100.
For example, if we were converting 700 cm to m, we would divide 700 by 100.
700 $\div$ 100 = 7
700 cm = 7 m
How many meters in 600 cm?
SolutionThe correct answer is 6 m.
To convert centimeters to meters, we divide by 100.
600 $\div$ 100 = 6

What could the length be?
HintsConvert all of the lengths in the question to metres to work out the range of possible answers.
 5 km = 5,000 m
 12,000 mm = 12 m
 3, 800 m = 3,800 m
 2,100 cm = 21 m
Convert the possible answers to meters, which ones fall between 21 m and 3,800 m?
There are 4 possible answers.
SolutionThe possible answers are:
 2,200 cm
 3 km
 395 m
 2,900 m
If we convert all of the measurements in the question to metres we get:
 5 km = 5,000 m
 12,000 mm = 12 m
 3,800 m = 3,800 m
 2,100 cm = 21 m
 2,200 cm = 22 m
 3 km = 3,000 m
 395 m = 395 m
 2,900 m = 2,900 m
 220 cm = 2.2 m
 4 km = 4,000 m
 22 mm = 0.022 m
 1,900 cm = 19 m