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Converting units: centimeters to meters

CCSS.Math:

Video transcript

convert 37 centimeters to meters let me write this over 37 I'll write senti in a different color to emphasize the prefix 37 centimeters send to meters and we want to convert it to meters so we really just have to remind ourselves what the prefix centi means senti literally means 1 over a hundred or one hundredths of a meter so this is really saying 37 hundredths meters so let's write it that way this is literally 37 hundredths of a meter so 100 meters these are equivalent statements so what are 37 hundredths of a meter well that's going to be 37 hundredths of a meter that's going to be 37 hundredths of a meter of a meter which can be re-written as if you wanted to write it as a decimal that's zero point you could view it as 3/10 and seven hundredths or 37 hundredths so zero point three seven zero point three seven meters another way that you could have thought about this is look I'm going to go from centimeters to meters I have a hundred I need a hundred centimeters to get to one meter so I'm going to have to divide by a hundred 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 37 centimeters let me write it this way 37 centi centimeters and actually go let's go through a couple of the units right over here now if you wanted to turn it to decimeter so this is 1 over 100 decimetres 1 over 1/10 so you would divide this would be 3.7 decimeters let me write this is 3.7 decimeters decimeters decimeters and a decimeter is 1/10 of a meter so you would divide by 10 again so this is zero point three seven zero point three seven meters meters so one way to think about it is to go from centimeters to meters you're going to divide by a hundred dividing by a hundred you would move the decimal space over to the left two times doing it once divides by ten doing it twice divides by hundred so you get to 0.37 meters