Does 1000 ml make 1 litre?

Yes, 1000 millilitres (ml) is equal to 1 litre. This relationship holds true for both liquid and dry measurements. Litres and millilitres are two units in the metric system used to measure volume.

Quick Summary

Here is a quick overview of the key points:

  • A millilitre (ml) is a unit of volume in the metric system.
  • A litre (L) is a unit of volume in the metric system.
  • 1 litre = 1000 millilitres
  • This applies to both liquid volumes like water, juice, oil, etc. as well as dry volumes like rice, flour, sugar, etc.
  • The millilitre and litre have a simple conversion where you just move the decimal point 3 places.
  • Some examples:
    • 500 ml = 0.5 L
    • 100 ml = 0.1 L
    • 2000 ml = 2 L

The Metric System

The metric system is a system of measurement that uses the litre for measuring volumes of liquid and dry substances. It is also known as the International System of Units (SI). The metric system is used universally in science, medicine, and most countries around the world except the United States.

In the metric system, units of measurement for the same quantity are linked by factors of 10. This allows for easy conversion between units. For volumes, the base unit is the litre and common subunits are the millilitre and cubic centimetre.


The litre (symbol L) is the base unit of volume in the metric system. By definition:

  • 1 litre = 1 cubic decimetre (dm3)
  • 1 dm3 = 1000 cubic centimetres (cm3)

A litre represents a volume of:

  • 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm (1000 cm3)
  • 10 dm × 10 dm × 10 dm (1000 dm3)

At room temperature, one litre of water has a mass of approximately one kilogram.


The millilitre (ml) is a common metric unit derived from the litre. It is equal to one thousandth of a litre:

  • 1 ml = 0.001 L
  • 1 ml = 1 cubic centimetre (cm3)

Millilitres are commonly used to measure small volumes of liquids like medications, water, alcohol, and cooking ingredients.

The Relationship Between Millilitres and Litres

Since a litre is defined as 1000 millilitres, converting between these units simply involves moving the decimal place 3 places.

To convert millilitres to litres, move the decimal point 3 places to the left. For example:

  • 500 ml = 0.5 L
  • 750 ml = 0.75 L
  • 1000 ml = 1 L

To convert litres to millilitres, move the decimal point 3 places to the right. For example:

  • 1 L = 1000 ml
  • 0.5 L = 500 ml
  • 2.5 L = 2500 ml

This simple relationship applies whether measuring liquids like water, milk, juice, oil, etc. or dry ingredients like rice, flour, sugar, salt, etc. Some examples:

  • 250 ml of milk = 0.25 L of milk
  • 1500 ml of oil = 1.5 L of oil
  • 500 ml of water = 0.5 L of water
  • 1 L of rice = 1000 ml of rice
  • 2 L of flour = 2000 ml of flour

Millilitres to Larger Volume Units

While useful for smaller volumes, millilitres can be inconvenient for larger volumes. In those cases, it’s common to convert millilitres to larger units like litres, cubic metres, etc.

To convert from millilitres to larger units:

  1. First convert ml to L by dividing by 1000
  2. Then convert L to the desired larger unit

For example, to convert 2500 ml to cubic metres (m3):

  1. 2500 ml = 2.5 L (divide by 1000)
  2. 2.5 L = 0.0025 m3 (1 L = 0.001 m3)

So 2500 ml = 0.0025 m3

Other examples:

  • 10000 ml = 10 L = 0.01 m3
  • 50000 ml = 50 L = 0.05 m3
  • 1000000 ml = 1000 L = 1 m3

Practical Examples

Here are some practical examples of millilitres equalling litres in everyday situations:


Ingredient Millilitres Litres
Milk for a recipe 250 ml 0.25 L
Olive oil for salad dressing 60 ml 0.06 L
Water for rice 500 ml 0.5 L
Wine for stew 125 ml 0.125 L


Drink Millilitres Litres
Glass of juice 200 ml 0.2 L
Water bottle 500 ml 0.5 L
Large soda 750 ml 0.75 L


Medicine Millilitres Litres
Cough syrup dose 10 ml 0.01 L
Allergy medication dose 5 ml 0.005 L
Pain reliever dose 15 ml 0.015 L

Why the Litre is Divided into Millilitres

The litre is divided into 1000 millilitres for a couple reasons:

  • Metric system prefixes – Having units in factors of 10 allows for easy conversion in the metric system. The milli- prefix means one thousandth.
  • Measuring small volumes – A millilitre is a convenient size for measuring small liquid volumes precisely like in medicines, recipes, lab experiments, etc.
  • everyday uses – Millilitres align well with common volumes like a cup of water (~250 ml) or a medicine dose (5-15 ml).

Without millilitres, it would be inconvenient to work with tiny fractions of a litre. The use of millilitres makes the litre more accessible for everyday use.


In summary, a millilitre is one thousandth of a litre. The simple conversion is:

  • 1000 ml = 1 L
  • 1 L = 1000 ml

This applies universally whether measuring liquid volumes like water or juice or dry volumes like rice or flour.

Millilitres allow the litre to be divided into conveniently sized units for measuring small amounts precisely. It’s easier to measure 5 ml of medicine than 0.005 L!

So the next time you use millilitres or litres, remember they represent the same actual volume, just in different units – 1000 ml always makes 1 litre.

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