PREFIXES AND ROOT WORDS. The great advantage of the metric
system over the U.S. system is the metric use of root (basic) terms and
standard prefixes. Meter, liter, and gram are examples of root words.
They basically tell you what you are dealing with (length, volume, or
weight). Prefixes (word parts that go in front) are added to the root word
to denote how much.
Remember that the metric system is based on the decimal system
(powers of ten). The prefix, then, denotes a power of ten. You have
already come across some of these terms. In Frame 4-5, for example,
the term "kilogram" was used.
In the word "kilogram," the root word (what) is
and the prefix (how much) is
The prefix "kilo-" means "1000."
Therefore, something that weighs one kilogram weighs how many
Some of the metric prefixes are given below. They denote larger and
larger multiples of 10.
1 decameter equals ten meters
1 hectometer equals one hundred meters
1 kilometer equals one thousand meters
1 megameter equals one million meters
1 gigameter equals one billion meters
How many meters are in 5.4 kilometers? ________________________