Units of Volume

The fundamental unit for measuring volume is the cubic meter.

There are also other units for measuring large and small quantities of volume:

cubic kilometer km3 1,000,000,000 m3
hectometer cubic hm3 1,000,000m3
decameter cubic dam3 1,000 m3
cubic meter m3 1 m3
cubic decimeter dm3 0.001 m3
cubic centimeter cm3 0.000001 m3
cubic millimeter mm3 0.000000001 m3

Note that each unit is 1,000 times larger than the previous.

Therefore, the problem of converting units to other units becomes an issue of multiplying or dividing the unit by one followed by as many trios of zeros as there are places between them.

1.36 Hm3 flecha m3

In this case, multiply (because the Hm3 is greater than the m3) the unit by one followed by six zeros, since there are two places between both units.

1.36 · 1,000,000 = 1,360,000 m3

15,000 mm3 flecha cm3

In this case, divide (because the mm3 is smaller than the cm3) by one followed by three zeros, since there is one place between both units.

15,000 : 1,000 = 15 cm3


Unit Conversion

Unit Conversion

Unit Conversion

Relationship between Units of Capacity, Volume and Mass

There is a direct relationship between volume and capacity. 1 litre is the capacity that contains a cubic receptacle of 1 dm of space; that is to say, the capacity contained in a volume of 1 dm3.

There is also a relationship between volume and the mass of water. 1 g equals 1 cm³ of pure water at 4° C.

Capacity Volume Mass (of water)
1 kl 1 m³ 1 t
1 l 1 dm3 1 kg
1 ml 1 cm³ 1 g


Convert to liters:

23.2 m3 =

= 23,200 dm3 = 13,200 l

0.07 m3 =

= 70 dm3 = 70 l

5.2 dm3 =

= 5.2 l

8,800 cm3 =

= 8.8 dm3 = 8.8 l