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# Converting units: centimeters to meters

Learn to convert 37 centimeters to meters. Created by Sal Khan.

Video transcript

Convert 37
centimeters to meters. Let me write this over. 37, and I'll write centi
in a different color to emphasize the prefix. 37 centimeters, and we want
to convert it to meters. So we really just have
to remind ourselves what the prefix centi means. Centi literally means 1/100th,
or one hundredth of a meter. So this is really saying
37 hundredth meters, so let's write it that way. This is literally
37/100 of a meter. So 1/100 meters. These are equivalent statements. So what are 37/100 of a meter? Well, that's going to be
37/100 of a meter, which can be rewritten
as, if you wanted to write it as a
decimal, that's 0. you could view it as 3/10
and 7/100, or 37/100. So 0.37, 0.37 meters. Another way that you could have
thought about this is look, I'm going to go from
centimeters to meters. I have 100. I need 100 centimeters
to get to one meter, so I'm going to have to
divide by 100 in order to figure out how
many meters I have. And you should always
do a reality check. If I convert
centimeters to meters, should I get a larger
number or a smaller number? Well, however many
centimeters I have, I'm going to have a
fewer number of meters. Meters is a larger unit. So you should have a
smaller value here, and it should be a smaller
value by a factor of 100. So you literally
could have started off with 37 centimeters. Let me write it this
way, 37 centimeters. And actually, let's go
through a couple of the units right over here. Now, if you wanted to turn it
to decimeters, so this is 1/100. Decimeters, one over 1/10. So you would divide. This would be 3.7 decimeters. Let me write this
as 3.7 decimeters. And a decimeter is
1/10 of a meter, so you would divide by 10 again. So this is 0.37 meters. So one way to think about
it is to go from centimeters to meters, you're
going to divide by 100. Dividing by 100, you would
move the decimal space over to the left two times. Doing it once divides by 10. Doing it twice divides by 100. So you get to 0.37 meters.