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Converting 1 Tablespoon to Grams

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  • 0:03 Converting Tablespoons…
  • 0:41 Conversion Steps
  • 1:16 Conversion Factors
  • 3:07 Conversion Variations
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to convert tablespoons to grams with respect to water and other substances. You'll also learn some important distinctions between these two units of measure, as well as some real-life applications of the conversion.

Converting Tablespoons to Grams

Before we begin converting 1 tablespoon to grams, we need to know that:

  • A tablespoon (tbsp) is a measure of volume
  • A gram (g) is a unit of mass
  • 1 tablespoon = 15 milliliters (mL)
  • The density of water is 1 g/mL

This means 1 gram of water is found in 1 milliliter of water, so 1 milliliter of water contains 1 gram of water. Note how the density of water contains both units of mass (grams) and volume (mL). This is what helps us convert tbsp (volume) to g (mass) for water.

Conversion Steps

To convert 1 tablespoon to grams, we need to perform the following steps:

  1. Convert tablespoons to milliliters:
    • 1 tbsp = 15 mL
  2. Multiply the volume, in milliliters, by the density of the liquid:
  3. 15 mL * 1 g/mL

We find that 1 tablespoon of water is equal to 15 grams of water, so the final solution would look like this:

  • 1 tbsp * 1 g/mL = 15mL * 1 g/mL = 15 g of water per tablespoon

Conversion Factors

Please note that this quick conversion is true only for water and substances with properties similar to water. Let's take a look at this equation to find out why:

  • 1 tablespoon = 15 grams

The left side shows a tablespoon, which again is a measure of volume. Volume refers to the amount of space that something occupies. For example, a deflated balloon occupies a small volume of space; however, an inflated balloon would occupy a larger volume of space.

Now look at the right side of the equation, which indicates grams, a measure of mass. Mass refers to the amount of matter (substance) in something. Mass is not the same as weight or volume.

This means that when we convert from tablespoons to grams, we are converting between two very different units. In order to convert between two different units, we must have a conversion factor. What is that conversion factor? It's density! Density is defined as the mass found per unit of volume, calculated as mass divided by volume.

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