Confused by for metric system units? To keep them all straight, get a basic breakdown of metric unit for length, weight and volume. Then, you can learn metric for data, power and temperature, too. By the time you’re done, you’ll have the basic metric system unit down to a science.

You are watching: What is the abbreviation for liter

Measuring cup with liter measurements

Understanding Metric System

Did your school project say that you need 5 ml? Are you staring at it curiously wondering what a “ml” is? The abbreviation “ml” stands for milliliter in the metric system. The metric system is used all over the world. However, in America, US customary units are more commonly used. If you are trying to convert between the two, knowing the metric can save you a lot of hassle.

Find out the basic metric along with other useful metric that you might encounter in your studies.

Basic Metric and Prefixes

In the metric system, there are three basic units to measure length, volume and weight (mass). You have the meter (m) for length, liter (l) for volume and gram (g) for weight. Each of these units are then broken down into smaller or bigger units using metric prefixes.

Giga - G (1,000,000,000)Mega - M (1,000,000)Kilo - k (1,000)Hecto - h (100)Deka/deca - da (10)Deci - d (1/10)Centi - c (1/100)Milli - m (1/1000)Micro - μ (1/1,000,000)Nano - n (1/1,000,000,000)

The prefixes have the same meaning for each of the measurement units. For example, a kilogram is 1,000 grams and a kiloliter is 1,000 liters.

Metric for Length

Now that you know the basic units and their prefixes, it is just a matter of putting the two together to create your different metric Starting with length, the meter (m) is your base unit. Then, you add the appropriate prefix for the corresponding metric measurement.

Kilometer - kmSquare kilometer - km²Hectometer - hmDecameter (or dekameter) - damMeter - mDecimeter - dmCubic decimeter - dm³Centimeter - cmCubic centimeter - cm³Millimeter - mm

With most basic metric, you’ll include the prefix letter with the unit of measure. The noted exception is “deka” or “deca.” For example, the abbreviation for “decameter” is “dam.” This is because “dm” already stands for “decimeter.”

Metric for Volume

Just as the meter (m) is the base measurement for length in the metric system, the liter (l) is the base measurement for volume.

Kiloliter - klHectoliter - hlDecaliter (or dekaliter) - dalLiter - lDeciliter - dlCentiliter - clMilliliter - ml

Metric for Weight

For weight, the base measurement in the metric system is the gram (g). Add prefixes as you did above for meters and liters.

Kilogram - kgHectogram - hgDekagram (or dekagram) - dagGram - gDecigram - dgCentigram - cgMilligram - mg

Temperature for a Metric Unit

While length, weight and volume cover the basics, there are other units of measurements that are just as important. In America, you might be familiar with the Fahrenheit system for temperature, but the metric system uses Celsius and Kelvin.

The metric for these are:

Kelvin - KCelsius - C

To quickly convert between systems of measurement, use the Celsius to Fahrenheit converter on our sister site

Metric Data Measurement

If you’ve ever touched a computer, you’ve probably come across bits and bytes. You might not have known what that “b” or “B” stood for, but that is where learning computer storage can help. Dive into the from bits to exabytes.

Bit - bByte - BKilobyte - KB (1,000 bytes)Megabyte - MB (1,000 KB)Gigabyte - GB (1,000 MB)Terabyte - TB (1,000 GB)Petabyte - PB (1,000 TB)Exabyte - EB (1,000 PB)

In the standard decimal system, each unit is equal to 1,000 of the previous units. However, in the traditional binary system, each unit is equal to 1,024 of the previous units. This is because 1,024 equals 2 to the 10th power (210).

See more: How Many Dm3 In A Liter S, Dm 3 To L, Cubic Decimeters To Liters Conversion Dm³ To L

Power for Metric Units

One other area where you’ll come across metric system is in the context of power, energy and electricity. These include:

Watt - WKilowatt - kWKilowatt-hour - kWh Gigawatt - GWAmp - AMilliamp - mAMilliamp-hour - mAhVolt - V

Metric System Abbreviation Basics

Once you get the basic system down, understanding the way that metric are created isn’t so hard. Now that you have a good understanding of used in the metric system, you might want to learn how are different from acronyms. Did you know an abbreviation can become a whole new word? Imagine that!