Back to: Mathematics Primary 4
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Capacity is the amount of liquid (or other pourable substance) that an object can hold when it’s full. When a liquid, such as milk, is being described in gallons or quarts, this is a measure of capacity. Capacity is the amount of space a container, room etc. has to hold things or people. Capacity is the total amount of fluid that can be contained in a container. It is the word we use when we are measuring liquids. We might say: ‘What is the capacity of the liquid in that cup?’ to which an answer would be given in millilitres.
Volume: the amount of space that a substance or object contains or fills.
Litres is cubic centimeters (cm^{3})
An open cube of dimension 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm is a container of 1 litre capacity
1 litre (L) = 1,000 millilitres (ml)
1 L = 1,000 ml ½ L = 500 ml
¼ L = 250 ml ¾ L = 750 ml
^{1}/_{10} L = 100 ml 2 ¼ L = 2,250 ml
Examples on measurement of Capacity:
 Express the following in ‘ml‘
(i) 19 l
(ii) 21 l 75 ml
(iii) 28 l 350 ml
Solution:
1 l = 1000 ml
(i)19 l
= 19 x 1000
= 19000 ml
(ii) 21 l 75 ml
= 21 x 1000 + 75
= 21000 + 75
= 21075 ml
(iii) 28 l 350 ml
= (28 x 1000) ml + 350 ml
= 28000 + 350
= 28350 ml

Convert the following into litres and millilitres.
(i) 75000 ml
(ii) 9485 ml
(iii) 23456 ml
Solution:
1000 ml = 1 l
(i) 75000 ml
= 75000 ml ÷ 1000
= 75 l
(ii) 9485 ml
= 9485 ml ÷ 1000
= 9 l 485 ml
(iii) 23456 ml
= 23456 ml ÷ 1000
= 23 l 456 ml
3. A water tank contains 2225 litres of water. During the day 975 l 325 ml of water is pumped out from the tank. How much water is left in the tank?
Solution:
Water in the tank = 2225 liters
Water pumped out = 975 liters 325 ml
So, water left =
Therefore water left = 1249 l 675 ml
 A milkman sold 55 l 575 ml of milk on the first day, 40 l 480 ml on the second day and 60 l 825 ml on the third day. What quantity of milk did he sell during these three days?
Solution:
Milk sold on first day =
Milk sold on second day =
Milk sold on third day = +
So, total milk sold =
Therefore total milk sold = 156 l 880 ml
 A Dettol bottle contains 500 ml of Dettol. How much Dettol is contained in 12 dozen such bottles?
Solution:
Since one bottle contains Dettol = 500 ml
Therefore, 12 x 12 bottles contain Dettol = 500 ml x 12 x 12
= 500 ml x 144
= 72000 ml
= 72 litres

A drum contains 12 litres 156 ml of varnish. It is supplied to 12 shops equally. How much varnish does each shop get?
Solution:
Varnish distributed to 12 shops = 12 l 156 ml
Varnish given to 1 shop = (12 l 156 ml) ÷ 12
= 12156 ml ÷ 12
= 1013 ml
= 1 l 13 ml
Each shop will get varnish = 1 l 13 ml
Multiplication and Division of Litres:
Examples:
WORD PROBLEMS ON CAPACITY
Examples:
 How many 4 litre buckets are needed to fill a tank holding 108 litres?
Solution:
 A car travels 8 km using 1 litre of petrol. How much petrol is needed to travel 152 km?
Solution:
 How many halflitres are there in: a. 1 ½ L b. 3 ½ L c. 5 ½ L d. 12 ½ L e. 10 L
Solution:
 What is the capacity of 48 drums if each drum contains 357 litres of palm oil.
Solution:
1 drum contains 357 litres of palm oil
48 drums contain (357 x 48) litres = 17,136 litres of palm oil.
1000 cm^{3} = 1 litre = 1000 ml
1 cm^{3} = 1 ml
29 cl = 290 ml 35 cl = 350 ml.
Quiz
 Express the following in ‘ml‘
(i) 19 l
(ii) 21 l 75 ml
(iii) 28 l 350 ml
 A drum contains 12 litres 156 ml of varnish. It is supplied to 12 shops equally. How much varnish does each shop get?
 A milkman sold 55 l 575 ml of milk on the first day, 40 l 480 ml on the second day and 60 l 825 ml on the third day. What quantity of milk did he sell during these three days?
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