2 Litres

Click play on the following audio player to listen along as you read this section.

Before we even begin to talk about this topic we need to get one thing out of the way. What is the correct spelling of the word? Is it litres or liters?

litres or liters?

In reality both of those spellings are correct. It just depends on which reality you live in. If you are living in the United States then the correct spelling is LITERS. If you living in Canada then the correct spelling it LITRES.

As this book is being written in Canada it is only natural that we are going to spell it:

L   I   T   R   E   S


Now let’s go into a short introduction.

The litre is also a unit of measurement when dealing with capacities but unlike gallons litres only comes in one variety. A litre is a litre is a litre is a litre. A litre is similar in capacity to 1.75 English pints and is exactly 1000 cubic centimeters. Once again we end up back to the fact that metric is sooooo easy to work with as everything is based on multiples of 10.  Later on in this chapter we’ll convert from gallons to litres and then back again.

In beer terminology (because in my mind everyone likes beer) a growler is the term used to describe a bottle filled with beer. A growler is usually 2 litres in capacity. Breweries also sell beer in one litre bottles which are often referred to as Boston rounds. The term Boston round actually just refers to the type of bottle used and not volume. Below is a picture of a couple of beer growlers. For math purposes remember they are 2 litres.

three 2 litre growler beers

So now that we have the beer situation out of the way let’s get to exactly how much a litre is.

When dealing with gallons we converted them to cubic feet. We kept everything in imperial units of measure. As litres is metric we’ll convert it into cubic meters.

Question: Do you think a litre is more or less than a cubic meter?

I think this one is a bit easier to visualise than the gallon so I’ll just go ahead and give you the answer.


The relationship is as follows:

[latex]1 \text{ cubic meter} = 1000 \text{ litres}[/latex]


1000 litres fit into 1 cubic metre

Once again as with everything in metric it’s easy to remember. As this is so easy to remember we’ll get right to the examples as there is not a whole bunch of explaining that needs to be done.


How many litres are there in 5.78 cubic meters?

Step 1: Write down the relationship you are going to use.

[latex]1 \text{ cubic meter} = 1000 \text{ litres}[/latex]

Step 2: Cross multiply.

[latex]\dfrac{1 \text{ cubic meter}}{5.78 \text{ cubic meters}} = \dfrac{1000 \text{ litres}}{\text{X litres}}[/latex]

[latex]\begin{array}{c} 1 \times \text{X} &= 5.78 \times 1000 \\ \text{X} &= 5.78 \times 1000 \\ \text{X} &= 5780 \end{array}[/latex]

[latex]\text{answer} = 5780 \text{ litres}[/latex]


Let’s try the reverse. If we had 3287 litres how many cubic meters would that be?

Step 1: Write down the relationship you are going to use.

[latex]1 \text{ cubic meter} = 1000 \text{ litres}[/latex]

Step 2:  Cross multiply.

[latex]\dfrac{1 \text{ cubic meter}}{\text{X cubic meters}} = \dfrac{1000 \text{ litres}}{3287 \text{ litres}}[/latex]

[latex]\begin{array}{c} 1 \times 3287 &= \text{X} \times 1000 \\ \text{X} &= \dfrac{3287}{1000} \\ \text{X} &= 3.287 \end{array}[/latex]

[latex]\text{answer} = 3.287 \text{ cubic meters}[/latex]

Try a couple practice questions and check out the video answers to see how you did.

Practice Questions

Question 1

We’re going to go back to our winemaking and another winemaker for this one. Pier-Alexis is a sommelier who plans to start his own winery. He lets his assistant calculate how much wine the vineyard he is looking to purchase will make.

His assistant ends up calculating the final answer in cubic meters of wine which is of no use to Pier – Alexis. He wants to calculate the amount of wine in litres. His assistant has stated that the vineyard will produce approximately 12.79 cubic meters of wine. How many litres of wine is this?

Question 2

Emily has decided to build a pool in the backyard of her family home. The pool is 9.78 meters long by 5 meters wide by 1.3 meters deep. Calculate the number of litres it takes to fill up the pool. Keep in mind that that pool is only filled up 90%.


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Math for Trades: Volume 3 by Mark Overgaard and Chad Flinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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