# 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 10**x (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)

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