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Everyday Metric Units

Basic Units

Meter  A little longer than a yard (about 1.1 yards)
Liter A little larger than a quart (about 1.06 quarts)
Gram A little more than the weight of a paper clip


Degrees CELSIUS are used

-40 degrees -40 degrees
-20 degrees 0 degrees
0 degrees (water freezes) 32 degrees (water freezes)
20 degrees 68 degrees
100 degrees (water boils) 212 degrees (water boils)

Other Commonly Used Units

millimeter 0.001 meter Diameter of a paper clip wire
centimeter 0.01 meter A little more than the width of a paper clip (about 0.4 inch)
kilometer 1000 meters Somewhat further than 1/2 mile (about 0.6 mile)
kilogram 1000 grams A little more than 2 pounds (about 2.2 pounds)
milliliter 0.001 liter Five of them make a teaspoon

Helpful Information

Department of Consumer Protection / 
Weights and Measures 
Michael D. Bannon
The Almshouse
1260 Almshouse Rd., 4th Floor
Doylestown, PA 18901
Ph:   215-348-6060
Fax: 267-885-1420