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Litres and Millilitres

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Basics on the topic Litres and Millilitres

Litres and Millilitres

How much tea fits into your favorite cup? How much water do you need for the dough recipe? These questions can be answered by measuring volume in litres and millilitres. This text teaches you about these two units of volume.

What is the unit for measuring volume?

Litres and Millilitres are two metric units for measuring the volume of a liquid. Millilitres are often used for lesser volumes of liquids, and litres are often used for higher volumes of liquids. Things measured in litres and millilitres are items such as a beaker of liquid or a jug of water.


In the above illustration, you can see the definition of millilitres and litres along with some examples of litres and millilitres.

Solving Word Problems with Litres and Millilitres


The first step to solving word problems is to read the entire problem. Once you have done this, you should then highlight the question, or problem, you are being asked to solve. In the following example, we highlight the last sentence.


The next step is to ask yourself what is the important information that will help me solve the problem, and highlight the important information. For example, in the problem we would highlight both 80 l of white vinegar and share this equally into 2 containers, as these are important to solving the problem.


After this, we need to find the operation. The keyword, share, tells us we are dividing, so we can write this operation below.


Now we can write the number sentence using all of the information we have gathered. The number sentence for this word problem is 80 divided by 2 = ? as we know they had 80 l, but want to share this between 2 containers equally.


And finally, we solve the problem, including any units of measurement from the word problem. So, 80 divided by 2 = 40, so Zuri and Freddie will use 40 litres of white vinegar.


Litres and Millilitres – Review

To solve word problems with litres and millilitres as units of measuring volume, you can follow the following steps:

Step # What to do
1 Read the word problem and highlight the problem.
2 Identify the important information.
3 Identify the operation.
4 Write the number sentence.
5 Solve the number sentence, including any units of measurement.

Do you want to learn more about measuring volume? Below you will find a litres and millilitres worksheet along with interactive exercises.

Transcript Litres and Millilitres

Zuri and Freddie are excited for their volcano experiment! They have gathered the materials needed to create the volcano eruption which are white vinegar, water, and washing-up liquid! To successfully create the eruption, they need to solve some volume word problems first! "Litres and Millilitres (Word Problems)". Litres and Millilitres are units of volume. "Volume" is the "measure of space an object takes up". A "litre" is a "metric measurement of volume". We use the unit symbol "" after a number to represent litres. You might measure big containers of liquid with litres such as buckets or jugs. A "millilitre" is a "metric measurement of volume" often used for small amounts of liquid. We use the unit symbol ' " after a number to represent millilitres. You might measure small drinks bottles, or beakers with millilitres. To solve word problems involving litres and millilitres, first, read the word problem. As you read, think; what do I need to find? And highlight the question you need to solve! "Zuri and Freddie have eighty litres of white vinegar. They want to share this equally into two containers, to save some for later use. How many litres of white vinegar will they use today?" Here we highlight “How many litres of white vinegar will they use today?" Because it asks us to find how much they use. Then, re-read and think; “What is the important information?” While re-reading, highlight keywords, numbers, or units of measurement, that will help us to answer the question. Highlight “eighty litres of white vinegar” because this is the amount they have. We also highlight “share this equally into two containers”, since it tells us what to do with the vinegar. Next, “identify the operation”. The keyword SHARE tells us we need to use division. Then, “write the number sentence”. We know it is eighty divided by two because the word problem states they start with eighty litres and want to share it equally into two containers. Now we can “solve the number sentence”. “Eighty divided by two is forty”, so ""Zuri and Freddie will use forty litres of white vinegar""!

" Let’s try one more word problem. First, read the word problem and highlight what it is asking you to find. "Zuri and Freddie have five hundred and fifty millilitres of water, and one hundred and forty-two millilitres of washing-up liquid. They need to mix together the water and washing-up liquid. How many millilitres of liquid will they have?" We highlight “how many millilitres of liquid will they have?” because this is what we are solving. What is the next step? Re-read the problem, highlighting important information. Highlight "five hundred and fifty millilitres of water” and “one hundred and forty-two millilitres of washing-up liquid” because this tells us the volume of each liquid. We also highlight “mix together”, because it tells us what they will do with the liquids! What should you do next? Find the operation, which is addition, because the word problem states “mix TOGETHER”. Now write the number sentence. Five hundred and fifty plus one hundred and forty-two. Finally, you can solve the problem! Five hundred and fifty plus one hundred and forty-two is six hundred and ninety-two. "Zuri and Freddie have six hundred and ninety-two millilitres of liquid”. Before Zuri and Freddie set off their volcano, let's review. Remember, to solve word problems involving volume, first, “read the word problem” and highlight the question you need to solve. Next, "identify the important information”, highlighting keywords, units of measurement, and anything that will help solve the problem. Then “identify the operation” from the information. Now “write the number sentence”. Finally, “Solve the number sentence”, including correct units of measurement. "I really hope this works, we worked hard on this volcano!"

"It's working Zuri. IT'S WORKING!"

"I think that worked a LITTLE too well. Next time, let's keep the volcano smaller."

Litres and Millilitres exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Litres and Millilitres.
  • Magic potions.


    Remember that ml are less than l, so 50 ml is a smaller capacity than 50 l.

    Remember that there are 1,000 ml in one litre, so in half a litre there are 500 ml.

    Begin by finding the potion bottle that holds the least liquid.


    The bottle with the least liquid held only 30 ml.

    The next bottle with slightly more, held $\mathbf{\frac{1}{2}}$ l, which is the same as 500 ml.

    The third bottle, when ordered by capacity of liquid, held 820 ml.

    The last bottle, holding the most, was the 3 l bottle, as this is equivalent to 3,000 ml.

  • Freddie and Zuri are experimenting.


    Look at the scale on the side of the jug to see what intervals it is going up in, and read between the lines.

    This jug has water that is half way between 700 ml and 800 ml, so it must be 750 ml.

    As there are three different liquids that they use, Freddie and Zuri must add these all together.

    • First we must add the three amounts:
    300 ml + 50 ml + 130 ml = 480 ml
    • The first jug has the liquid on the interval above 500 ml. As the scale is going up in steps of 100 ml, the liquid is at 600 ml.
    • The second jug has the liquid exactly in line with 300. So it holds 300 ml.
    • The third jug shows that the liquid is more than 800 ml, but less than 850 ml, so is approximately 820 ml.
    • The fourth jug has the liquid below 500, but above 450, so it is approximately 480 ml. So this is the correct answer.
  • Party time.


    Decide whether you need to do an addition, a subtraction, a multiplication or a division calculation.

    If two guests are sharing a drink, this means they will divide it between the two.


    • Freddie had 2 cups of juice. Each cup held 260 ml, so in total he drank 520 ml.
    2 x 260 = 520

    • Zuri poured herself a tall 300 ml glass of squash, but only managed to drink 125 ml. How much was left in her glass? 175 ml.
    300 - 125 = 175

    • Gus poured himself enough squash to last the whole evening. He poured four 220 ml cups full. In total he had 880 ml.
    4 x 220 = 880

    • Nia and Nico decided to share a glass of lemonade. They filled the 300 ml glass to the top. They had half each, so each drank 150 ml.
    300 $\div$ 2 = 150

  • Using all four operations to solve capacity problems.


    What methods could you use for subtraction? You could count forwards or backwards on a number line, or write out the question using column subtraction.

    A tip to divide by 4 is to half and half again.

    Try using partitioning when multiplying mentally. Start with multiplying the hundreds, then the tens, then the ones.

    • In the first question, there is 360 ml which we need to share equally between 4 glasses. This means that we have to divide.
    • 360 ÷ 4 = 90
    • In the second question, it asks to find how much liquid in total. This means we need to multiply to find 3 lots of 215.
    • 3 x 215 = 645
    • In the third question, it asks how much is left after the milk spilled out of the carton. This means we need to do a subtraction.
    • 450 - 75 = 375
    • In the last question, it asks us to find how much altogether, so we need to add the two drinks together.
    • 418 + 270 = 688
  • How much juice is there in total?


    As there are two cartons we need to add together two lots of 200 ml.

    Finding two lots of something is the same as doubling. Can you double 200?


    As there are two cartons of juice and each carton holds 200 ml, we need to add: 200 + 200 = 400. So the answer is 400 ml.

  • Making milkshakes.


    If we want the recipe for 12, what do you need to multiply these quantities by?

    There are three different liquids that need multiplying on the recipe card.

    Can the answer be in litres as well as millilitres? Check whether there are two ways of answering this question.


    As the first recipe card serves 2 and we need to serve 12, we must multiply the ingredients by 6.

    • 50 x 6 = 300 ml cream
    • 200 x 6 = 1200 ml milk
    • 1 x 6 = 6 scoops ice cream
    • 10 x 6 = 60 ml chocolate sauce
    • We then need to add all the liquid ingredients together: 300 + 1200 + 60 = 1560.
    • So the total = 1560 ml, which is equivalent to 1 litre 560 ml since there 1000 ml in a l.