Mathematics » Properties of Real Numbers » Systems of Measurement

Using Mixed Units of Measurement in the Metric System

Using Mixed Units of Measurement in the Metric System

Performing arithmetic operations on measurements with mixed units of measures in the metric system requires the same care we used in the U.S. system. But it may be easier because of the relation of the units to the powers of \(10.\) We still must make sure to add or subtract like units.


Ryland is \(1.6\) meters tall. His younger brother is \(85\) centimeters tall. How much taller is Ryland than his younger brother?


We will subtract the lengths in meters. Convert \(85\) centimeters to meters by moving the decimal \(2\) places to the left; \(85\) cm is the same as \(0.85\) m.

Now that both measurements are in meters, subtract to find out how much taller Ryland is than his brother.

\(\begin{array}{}\hfill \text{1.60 m}\\ \hfill \underset{\text{_______}}{\text{−0.85 m}}\\ \hfill \text{0.75 m}\end{array}\)

Ryland is \(0.75\) meters taller than his brother.


Dena’s recipe for lentil soup calls for \(150\) milliliters of olive oil. Dena wants to triple the recipe. How many liters of olive oil will she need?


We will find the amount of olive oil in milliliters then convert to liters.

 Triple 150 mL
Translate to algebra.\(3·150\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\text{mL}\)
Convert to liters.\(450\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\text{mL}·\frac{0.001\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\text{L}}{1\phantom{\rule{0.2em}{0ex}}\text{mL}}\)
 Dena needs 0.45 liter of olive oil.

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