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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*T.J. Hoogsteen*

T.J. is currently a grade 5 teacher and Vice-Principal. He has a master's degree in Educational Administration and is working toward an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

In this lesson, learn about a metric unit of measurement called a centimeter. See how this unit of length compares to other units of length as well as how it is converted.

If you've ever see a ruler, you may have asked yourself 'what is a centimeter?' Well you're in luck, because that is the very question that this lesson will answer.

A **centimeter** is a metric unit of length. You may also see centimeter spelled as centimetre. Both spellings are correct, and both mean the same thing. Sometimes on a ruler it may be marked cm, and this is the abbreviation for centimeter.

A centimeter is comparable to the imperial unit of measure known as inches. You will notice when looking at the ruler that on one side there are markings to measure centimeters, and on the other side there are markings to measure inches. This is actually quite common.

You may also notice when comparing the sizes of the two units of measure that centimeters are smaller than inches. 1 centimeter is equal to 0.3937 inches, or 1 inch is equal to 2.54 centimeters. In other words, 1 centimeter is less than half as big as an inch, so you need about two-and-a-half centimeters to make one inch.

Centimeters are useful when measuring small objects, but just like inches are part of a bigger unit of measurement called a yard (there are 36 inches in a yard), centimeters are also part of a bigger unit of measurement. This unit of measurement is called a meter. There are 100 centimeters in 1 meter.

You may also notice the markings in between each centimeter on the ruler. This is an even smaller unit of measurement called a millimeter, or mm. Count the millimeter markings between 0 and 1 on a ruler. You will notice that there are 10 millimeters in 1 centimeter. This is a useful measurement for things even smaller than a centimeter and for objects that don't measure exactly as an even centimeter.

**Centimeters** are metric units of measurement that are useful for measuring lengths of small objects, just like the imperial unit of inches. Centimeters are smaller than inches; it takes 2.54 centimeters to equal 1 inch. There are 100 centimeters in 1 meter, and there are 10 millimeters in each centimeter.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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