Which is greater, 56 millimeters or 44 centimeters?
One centimeter is equal to 10 millimeters. So in order to really compare these, we need to make them the same. So if we know that one centimeter is equal to 10 millimeters, we can change the centimeters to millimeters by multiplying by 10. And 44 times 10 is equal to 440. So which one is greater?
Well, after replacing 44 centimeters with 440 millimeters, they’re both in millimeters, and 440 is larger than 56. So the 440 millimeters is larger. However, when we answer our question, we shouldn’t write 440 millimeters. We should write it in terms of centimeters. Therefore, 44 centimeters is larger.
A useful way to go back and forth between units in the metric system is using this little staircase. And these are all prefixes of meters, grams, and liters. And a fun way to remember the order is “King Henry Doesn’t Usually Drink Chocolate Milk.”
If we would move down the steps, we would move the decimal point to the right. If we would go up the steps, we would move the decimal point to the left. So if we would go from a centimeter to a millimeter, that means we will take 1.0 centimeters, move the decimal point to the right, and we would have 10 millimeters, which is the conversion we had. So once again, the larger number is 44 centimeters.