The shortcut for converting metric units

 The shortcut for converting metric units is: 1) count how many powers of 10 the units are apart from each other. 2) move the decimal point that many places...
 ...to the right when converting to    smaller units. Because: Moving the decimal to the right makes a number bigger. There are more smaller units in an amount than there are larger units in the same amount. So our number should get bigger (more smaller units).
 ...to the left when converting to    larger units. Because: Moving the decimal to the left makes number lower. There are fewer larger units in an amount than there are smaller units in the same amount. So our number should get lower (fewer larger units).

 Examples: Shortcut for Converting Metric Units. The table below is part of Table in the previous lesson, showing the power of 10 that each prefix unit is worth of the root unit, using meter as an example root unit. NOTE: We are back to using negative powers of 10 in this table!

 Unit Symbol Equivalents 1 "prefix unit" = this many root units Mm 1 Mm = 106 m NA 1 NAm = 105  m NA 1 NAm = 104  m km 1 km = 103 m hm 1 hm = 102 m dam 1 dam = 101 m Root Unit 1 m = 100 m dm 1 dm = 10-1 m cm 1 cm = 10-2 m mm 1 mm = 10-3 m NA 1 NAm = 10-4  m NA 1 NAm = 10-5  m m 1 m = 10-6 m
 Example 1: Convert 467 dm to km.
 Step 1. Count how many powers of 10 between dm and km. There are 4.
 Step 2. Decide which direction to move the decimal. We're converting into larger units, so move the decimal to the left. (Larger units mean fewer of them, thus a lower number than we started with.)
People who saw this lesson also found the following lessons useful:
 Converting Metric Units into Another Metric Units Writing Equivalents Writing Equivalents with Whole Numbers Creating Conversion Factor from Equivalent How to Convert Metric Units How Numbers Behave When Multiplied or Divided by Positive Powers of Ten To Convert Between Two Prefix Units

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