# How many: grams, decagrams, milligrams are there in a kilogram?

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A kilogram or a kilogramme (British spelling) is a standard weight unit in the metric [SI] system. It is abbreviated to ‘kg’.

It is easy to work out how many grammes, decagrammes or milligrammes there are in a kilogramme if you are familiar with the, so called, metric prefixes. A metric prefix is added to the name of a root word to modify its value. In other words, metric prefixes change the meaning of a given base unit to express its multitude or fraction. Hence:

- Kilo- means 1000x (multiplication by one thousand). Therefore, a kilo- gram = 1000 grams.

- Deca- means 10x (multiplication by ten). Therefore, a deca- gram = 10 grams.

- Milli- means 1/1000 (division by one thousand). Therefore, a milli- gram = 0.001 gram.

From there, it’s easy to calculate that 1kg equals:

 1 KILOGRAM 1000 g 100 dag 1 000 000 mg

Did you know?

1. The kilogram is the only base unit in metric [SI] system which has a prefix (‘kilo-’).

2. A kilogram has been established as the weight of a cubic decimeter of water at the temperature of the melting point of ice.

3. The word kilogram / kilogramme stems from the combination of the Greek word khilioi (meaning “thousand”) and the French word gramme, utimately derived from the Latin gramma (meaning “small weight”).

Do you know any other metric prefixes?

Can you calculate how many microgrammes make up a gramme and a kilogramme? (knowing that micro- means 0.000 001)