Measuring Capacity

We will discuss about measuring capacity. Capacity of a container tells us how much liquid it can hold. We know that a large vessel can hold more liquid than a smaller vessel. So, we say that a large vessel has more capacity than the smaller vessel. We can measure the capacity of a vessel by using another vessel.

We have learnt that a bigger vessels has more capacity than the smaller vessel.

To compare, the capacity of two vessels we use another smaller vessel.

let us compare the capacity of a bottle and a jug.

Capacity of a Bottle and a Jug

We take a cup and pour water to fill the jug. We note the number of times we poured the water with the cup to fill the jug.

Cup to Fill the Jug

We repeat this to fill the bottle using the same cup.

On comparing the number of times the cup was used for filling the bottle and the jug, we can say which vessel has more capacity.

Cup to Fill the Bottle

In the above example, suppose a bottle holds 6 cups and the jug holds 5 cups, we can say that capacity of jug is about 5 cups and bottle is about 6 cups.

Capacity of a Jug and a Bottle

There are two jars A and B. Which holds more water?

Measuring Capacity

To find out which of the jars holds more water, we pour water from both the jars into identical containers. Water from Jar A fills one glass. Water from Jar B fills two glasses. So Jar B can hold more water than Jar A. Thus, Jar B has more capacity than Jar A.

A tablespoon has more capacity than a teaspoon. Let us verify this.


We find that 3 teaspoonful of water fills 1 tablespoon.

3 Teaspoonful of Water Fills 1 Tablespoon

It takes 2 tablespoonful of water to fill the beaker up to 10 mark.

How much water is required to fill the beaker up to 40 mark?

2 Tablespoonful of Water

_____ tablespoons


Take a cup and a jug.

Fill the cup with water and pour it in the jug.

Repeat this activity as many times as you can to fill the jug completely.

Suppose you had to perform the activity 7 times. Then we say that the capacity of the jug is 7 times the capacity of the cup.

If we observe two given containers carefully, we can easily tell which one has greater capacity.

For example, the capacity of the beaker is greater than the capacity of the glass.

Thus, we can say the quantity of liquid a container can hold is called it capacity.

Litre and Millilitre

If we perform the same activity using another vessel, we will get different answer. Therefore, we need to use standard measures to find the capacity of a vessel. The standard unit of measuring capacity is the litre, we write 'l' for litre. Litre is used to measure capacity of larger containers like bucket or a bathtub.

Capacity of a Bucket or a Bathtub

Smaller quantities of liquids are measured in millitres, we write ml for millilitres.

Smaller Quantities of Liquids

1 litre = 1000 millilitres. If capacity of a bucket is 10 litres it is written as 10 l.

Capacity of a Bucket

If capacity of a small bottle is 100 millilitres it is written as 100 ml.

Capacity of a Small Bottle

The milkman measures milk in liters. Petrol is given in liters. Mobil oil is sold in liters. Two milk bottles contain 1 liter of milk. One milk bottle contains half liter.

The unit for measuring liquids is a liter. Small quantities of a liquid such as medicine are measured in milliliters.

1 liter = 1000 milliliters


1000 milliliters = 1 liter

The short way of writing liter is 'l' and milliliter is ‘ml’. So we can write in short as;

1 l = 1000 ml


1000 ml = 1 l

The milkman uses different types of cans to measure the milk like 1 l, 500 ml, 200 ml, 100 ml, 50 ml, etc.

Various types of measuring jars are used to measure different liquids.

Some are given below.

Measure Different Liquids

Liquids like water, milk and oil are usually measured using measuring cans.

The unit of capacity is litre. We write  for litre.

Millilitre is a unit for measuring smaller amounts. We write me for millilitre.

Litre and Millilitre

The jug contains _____ litres of water.

The glass contains _____ millilitres of water.

A millilitre is a smaller measure than a litre.


Capacity of a container is the amount it can hold.

The capacity of a big vessel is expressed in litres.

The capacity of a small vessel is expressed in millilitres.

We denote: (i) Litres by
(ii) millilitres by m.

1 litre = 1000 millilitres

1 ℓ = 1000 mℓ

The quantity of liquid a vessel can hold is its capacity.

● These vessels are used to measure the quantity of milk and cooking oil etc.

Measuring Vessels

● These vessels are used to measure the quantity of diesel, kerosene oil and petrol etc.

Vessels to Measure Diesel, Kerosene and Petrol

Questions and Answers on Measurement of Capacity:

I. Write T for true and F for false.

(i) We write ml for litres

(ii) 1000 ml = 1 l

(iii) Smaller quantities of liquids are measured in ml.

(iv) 500 ml is less than 1 l.


I. (i) F

(ii) T

(iii) T

(iv) T

II. Fill in the blanks:

(i) A jug can hold 5 cups of water. The capacity of the jug is ............. cups.

(ii) Capacity of a bathtub can be measured in ............. (ml/l)


II. (i) 5

(ii) l

III. Match the following:

Measure Oil

1. We use to measure milk.

Measure Medicine

2. We use to measure oil.

Measure Milk

3. We use to measure medicine.


(i) → 2

(ii) → 3

(iii) → 1

IV. If the capacity of a bucket is 10 litres and the capacity of a jug 1 litre, which container is larger? .............

Answer: bucket

V. Arrange the following containers from the least capacity to the highest capacity.

Arrange the Containers


(vii) < (v) < (i) < (vi) < (ii) < (iii) < (viii) < (iv)

VI. Fill in the blanks:

(i) The capacity of a spoon is measured in ............. (ml/l)

(ii) The capacity of a bucket is measured in ............. (ml/l)

(iii) The capacity of a inkbottle is measured in ............. (ml/l)

(iv) The capacity of a swimming pool is measured in ............. (ml/l)


(i) mℓ

(ii) ℓ

(iii) mℓ

(iv) ℓ

VII. Gary has a bottle which looks same as Sam's bottle. Gary's bottle can hold about 3 glasses of water whereas Sam's bottle can hold about 2 glasses of water. Whose bottle has more capacity?

Answer: Gary 

VIII. Write 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the boxes, starting with 1 for the bottle having the largest amount of juice and 4 for the bottle having the least amount of juice.

IX. Fill in the blanks:

(i) A jug is filled completely with 15 cups of water, then capacity of the jug is __________. 

(ii) 10 glasses of water are needed to fill a vessel, then capacity of the vessel is __________.

(iii) A bucket is filled completely with 20 mugs of water, then capacity of the bucket is __________.


IX. (i) 15 cups or 15 times the capacity of the cup.

(ii) 10 glasses or 10 times the capacity of the glass.

(iii) 20 mugs or 20 times the capacity of the mug.

X. Are these quantities small or large? Decide whether you would measure these quantities in mℓ or ℓ:

(i) A tube of paint _____.

(ii) A bottle of ink _____.

(iii) Water in a small vase _____.

(iv) Milk in a baby's feeding bottle _____.

(v) Water in a large can Walter _____.

(vi) A drum of oil _____.

(vii) Medicine in an injection _____.

(viii) A bathtub full of water _____.


X. (i) mℓ

(ii) mℓ

(iii) ℓ

(iv) mℓ

(v) ℓ

(vi) ℓ

(vii) mℓ

(viii) ℓ

Extra questions for sharp students on measuring capacity.

1. A bucket contains 15 l of water and another bucket contains 12 l. Find the total amount of water in the two buckets.

Answer: 27 

2. A goat gives 8 liters of milk every day. How much milk will the goat give in a week?

Answer: 56 ℓ

3. A dairy farm sells 145 liters of milk everyday. How much milk will it sell in 4 days?

Answer: 580 ℓ

4. A car covers 52 kilometers and a scooter 15 kilometers in one liter of petrol. Which vehicle covers more and by how much?

Answer: Car,  37 ℓ

5. A bottle contained 400 ml of oil. The bottle fell and 75 ml of oil dropped on the ground. How much oil was left in the bottle?

Answer: 325 mℓ

6. A bucket can contain 18 liters of water. A tank is filled full by 9 such buckets. How much water does the full tank contain?

Answer: 162 ℓ

You might like these

2nd Grade Math Practice

From Measuring Capacity to HOME PAGE

Didn't find what you were looking for? Or want to know more information about Math Only Math. Use this Google Search to find what you need.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Ask a Question or Answer a Question.

Share this page: What’s this?

Recent Articles

  1. Intersecting Lines | What Are Intersecting Lines? | Definition

    Jun 14, 24 11:00 AM

    Intersecting Lines
    Two lines that cross each other at a particular point are called intersecting lines. The point where two lines cross is called the point of intersection. In the given figure AB and CD intersect each o…

    Read More

  2. Line-Segment, Ray and Line | Definition of in Line-segment | Symbol

    Jun 14, 24 10:41 AM

    Line-Segment, Ray and Line
    Definition of in Line-segment, ray and line geometry: A line segment is a fixed part of a line. It has two end points. It is named by the end points. In the figure given below end points are A and B…

    Read More

  3. Definition of Points, Lines and Shapes in Geometry | Types & Examples

    Jun 14, 24 09:45 AM

    How Many Points are There?
    Definition of points, lines and shapes in geometry: Point: A point is the fundamental element of geometry. If we put the tip of a pencil on a paper and press it lightly,

    Read More

  4. Subtracting Integers | Subtraction of Integers |Fundamental Operations

    Jun 13, 24 04:32 PM

    Subtraction of Integers
    Subtracting integers is the second operations on integers, among the four fundamental operations on integers. Change the sign of the integer to be subtracted and then add.

    Read More

  5. 6th Grade Worksheet on Whole Numbers |Answer|6th Grade Math Worksheets

    Jun 13, 24 04:17 PM

    6th Grade Worksheet on Whole Numbers
    In 6th Grade Worksheet on Whole Numbers contains various types of questions on whole numbers, successor and predecessor of a number, number line, addition of whole numbers, subtraction of whole number…

    Read More