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# What is a metric scale?

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A metric scale is a form of measurement used in the metric system. The metric system is the world standard for measurement and is made of three basic units: the meter, gram and liter. The meter measures length, the gram measures mass and the liter measures volume.

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The metric system follows the idea that base units become larger or smaller based on the power of 10. The base units have prefixes to define these larger and smaller units. For example, 1 kilometer is equal to 1,000 meters. One centimeter is one-hundredth of a meter, and 1 millimeter is 1,000 times smaller than a meter.

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## Related Questions

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The prefixes used within the metric system serve to designate a multiple or subdivision of a unit. The most common prefixes include: mega-, kilo-, centi-, milli- and nano-. All prefixes designate a power of 10.

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The metric system was developed by a group of French scientists after the conclusion of the French Revolution, and was based on ideas developed during the 17th century. As of 2015, only a handful of countries do not use the metric system, such as the United States and Liberia.

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The first letters of the most popular prefixes in the metric system can be remembered by memorizing the phrase "King Henry doesn't usually drink chocolate milk." The first letter in each word of the phrase corresponds in descending order with the first letters of prefixes kilo, hecto, deca, unit, deci, centi and milli.