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# Converting metric units of length

Learn convert kilometers, meters, and centimeters. Created by Sal Khan.

Video transcript

What I want to do
in this video is convert this amount
of kilometers into meters and centimeters. So we'll first start
with the 2 kilometers. And I encourage you to
now pause this video and try to do this on your own. Well, the one thing that we know
is that a kilometer literally means 1,000 meters. So you could literally view
this is as 2 times 1,000 meters. Let me write that down. So this is going to be equal
to 2 times 1,000 meters, which is equal to 2,000 meters. If we wanted to convert the
11 kilometers into meters, it's the same thing. 11 kilometers-- this right
over here-- means 1,000 meters. So you could think of it
as 11 times 1,000 meters. So 11 times 1,000 is
going to be 11,000 meters. Now let's convert these
distances into centimeters. And here we just
have to remember that 1 meter is equal
to 100 centimeters. Let me write that down. 1 meter is equal
to 100 centimeters. And that's because the prefix
centi means one hundredth. Another way you can write
it is that one centimeter is equal to one
hundredth of a meter. But here we have a
certain number of meters, and each of those
meters are going to be equivalent
to 100 centimeters. So if we wanted to write
2,000 meters as centimeters, we could say, well,
we have 2,000 meters. Each of those are going to be
equivalent to 100 centimeters. And so this is going to be
equal to 2,000 times 100. Well, that's going to
be 2, and since where we have the three
zeroes from the 2,000. And then every time
you multiply by 10, you're going to
add another zero. Or you're going to have
another zero at the end of it. And we're going to
be at multiplying by 100 is equivalent to
multiplying by 10 twice. So we're going to
have two more zeroes. So this is going to be
200,000 centimeters. Now let's do the same
thing right over here with the kilometers,
the 11 kilometers, which are 11,000 meters. And once again, I encourage
you to pause the video and try to convert
it into centimeters. Well, same idea. You have 11,000 meters,
and each of them are equivalent to
100 centimeters. So this is going to
be 11, and let's see, we have one, two, three,
four, five zeroes. So this gets us to
1,100,000 centimeters.