Metric prefixes: deci, deca, and hecto

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JimG, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. JimG

    JimG Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    149

    Jul 7, 2020

    This is purely a question out of curiosity. For those responsible for teaching metric prefixes, have you found any actual applications where deci, deca, or hecto are the preferred prefixes for discussing measurements?
     
  2.  
  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,033
    Likes Received:
    1,853

    Jul 7, 2020

    As someone who lives in a place where metric is used, we never use those prefixes other than in math class.
     
  4. JimG

    JimG Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    149

    Jul 7, 2020

    What about “centi” in anything other than centimeters?
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,033
    Likes Received:
    1,853

    Jul 7, 2020

    Just in centimetres.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    1,146

    Jul 7, 2020

    In Hungary we have used deci- and deka- quite often. In daily measurements, not just when cooking but also when shopping, deciliter, and dekagram are used all the time. Even at a bar, to order a shot they would use deci "Give me a half deci" means "give me a half deciliter" for cognac or other spirits.
    Hecto not so much. I don't remember ever using that.
     
  7. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    183

    Jul 7, 2020

    If you're in a farming community or in an ag. class, hectares are a unit of land measure. Hectare is to acre as centimeter is to inch. A standard family farm is about 80 hectares.
     
    CherryOak likes this.
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    1,146

    Jul 7, 2020

    We did use hectar (hektar) as a land measure but not hecto- as a prefix.
    And of course centimeter, decimeter (although not as much). Centiliter is also there but not used as much as deciliter is more common. I think in chemistry, etc where you measure much smaller volume.
    The most common altogether were millimeter, centimeter, meter, kilometer, gram, dekagram, kilogram, deciliter, liter. We also had an old measurement, "mázsa" which is 100 kg, and tonna, which is 1000 kg.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,779
    Likes Received:
    1,160

    Jul 8, 2020

    Beer and cider bottles that aren't marked in ounces may be marked in milliliters, centiliters, or deciliters, depending on the size of the bottle.

    What makes the metric system so easy and cool, though, is that the prefixes are absolutely the same no matter what the base unit is (or if the unit even exists: there's a dreadful joke that, since Helen of Troy's beauty could launch a thousand ships, the amount of her beauty required to launch just one ship is a millihelen). So once one grasps the system, it's easy to figure out how much of the unit the prefixed-unit term is referencing.

    Oh, and there's this: the common bigger-than-one prefixes are from Greek (deka, 10; hecto, 100; kilo, 1000), whereas the smaller-than-one prefixes are from Latin (deci, 1/10; centi, 1/100, milli, 1/1000). Deka gives us the word "decade", or ten years; Latin decim is the source via French of the word "dime", 1/10 dollar, a.k.a. ten cents.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. waterfall,
  2. MissCeliaB,
  3. whatisgoingon,
  4. Ima Teacher,
  5. Milsey
Total: 272 (members: 6, guests: 243, robots: 23)
test