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

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

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 

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

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