Converting 1 Teaspoon to Grams

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  • 0:04 Steps to Solve
  • 0:47 Measures of Volume
  • 2:32 Real-World Implications
  • 3:59 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson will give you quick way to convert from teaspoons to grams. Then, it will explain when such a conversion is valid, when it's not, and why.

Steps to Solve

You're soon going to be an expert in converting teaspoons to grams, whether for fun or in the kitchen. To do this, you'll need some basic background information. You should be aware that 1 teaspoon = 5 milliliters (mL). You also need to know that the density of water is 1 gram per milliliter (g/mL).

To convert 1 teaspoon to grams, then, perform the following steps:

Step 1. Convert teaspoons into mL:

1 tsp = 5 mL

Step 2. Multiply the volume from step 1 by the density of the substance (in this case, water):

5 mL x 1 g/mL

Thus, 1 teaspoon = 5 grams

Measures of Volume

It's important to remember that a teaspoon is a measure of volume. For instance, a cup of water represents a set amount of volume, much like 250 milliliters of water is a specific volume of water. The same goes for teaspoons.

Volume refers to the amount of space that a substance occupies. Grams, on the other hand, represent mass. An inflated balloon occupies a large volume of space but has relatively little mass. A tablet occupies a relatively small volume of space but has relatively more mass.

As the difference between volume and mass is an important distinction, let's explore it further. Let's pretend that we're measuring the volume and mass of water. Water has a density (mass/volume) of 1 g/mL. Based on other factors, like the temperature of the water, this density can vary, but we'll assume its density is always 1 g/mL for simplicity's sake.

In other words, 1 gram of water is contained in 1 milliliter of water. Similarly, 1 mL of water (volume) is equal to 1 g of water (mass). So, 1 g of water = 1 mL of water.

In this instance, our original conversion (1 teaspoon = 5 grams) holds true. This is because 1 teaspoon is equal to a volume of 5 mL.

1 tsp = 5 mL

And since we know that 1 mL of water is equal to 1 g of water, then we know that 5 mL of water is also equal to 5 g of water, because 1 tsp x 1 g/mL = 5 mL x 1 g/mL = 5 g.

Real-World Implications

The first conversion we did will not hold true for every substance. For instance, and to exaggerate for obvious effect, if a substance X has a density of 2500 g/mL, then 1 teaspoon of that substance will have a mass that's far greater than that of a teaspoon of water. In this case:

1 tsp x 2500 g/mL = 5 mL x 2500 g/mL = 12,500 g

In other words, substance X would have a conversion of:

1 teaspoon = 12,500 grams

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