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It is approximately equal to one smartie, or It is almost exactly equal to one smartie.[edit]

Who can visualize 1×10−3 kg? Is it a molecule, a pin tip, a pepple, a rock? It's a great one sentence visualization. I think this is "encyclopedic material" gone too far. This is a useful tidbit and it costs one sentence. What do other people think? Nastajus 07:54, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

In the Gram (unit) page, Wikipedia says:

  A cubic centimetre (10-6 m3) of water has a mass of approximately one gram. 
  It is approximately equal to the mass of a paper clip. 

The mass of a regular paper clip is approximately 0.5 gram. The mass of a jumbo paper clip is approximately 1.5 gram.

Bob Albrecht

We should avoid making contemporary comparisons like this as the weight of a paper clip will change over time. In my desk drawer alone I probably have a dozen different sizes and styles of paper clips. Steel, brass, plastic they probably range from much less than .5 grams to far more than 5 grams. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Since we seem to be on the topic of office supplies, I might note that the mass of a single A4 sheet of paper at its most common thickness of 80 g/m² is 5 gram.
Herbee 12:53, 2004 Feb 24 (UTC)

I agree with Bob. In my science classes, my students have measured paper clips, only to find they weigh from .5 to 1.5 grams. A plastic pen cap ( think Bic ) weighs exactly 1.0 grams. Should we not tell the world? Please see my web site for proof:

The gram as a unit may have it's difficulties, but they're not as bad as those of the kilogram. In exponential notation the gram is a much better unit to work with. Like the density of water is 1 gram/cubic cm or that the mass of the earth is 10E27.8 grams (approximately)and of the sun is 10E33.3 grams (approx.). And it fits well into the cgs calculations for both small and large values.WFPM (talk) 19:42, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

It's a Pen Cap[edit]

It is equal to the mass of a plastic pen cap (Bic). A paper clip is often referred to as the weight of a gram, but paper clips weigh from 0.5 gram to 1.5 grams. (unsigned anon contribution)

To what precision? Given that there are different kinds of pen caps (even Bic ones) what is the accuracy? It's reasonable to mention something that weighs about a gram, to give an idea of scale, but pen caps are not even made to the standard of accuracy that we are talking about.

You should also be aware that we have something called the "three revert rule". This means that if you add something to Wikipedia and it gets changed back three times, you have to wait a day before making more changes to the article. If you don't do this you can be blocked from editing Wikipedia. You are already over this limit, but on the assumption that you didn't know about it I'm going to let you off. However if you repeat the change you will be blocked. DJ Clayworth 15:53, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC) DJ Clayworth 15:49, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Amen. Gene Nygaard 16:06, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Is a derived unit[edit]

Would it be better to reword the second paragraph, since technically the gram is a submultiple of a base unit, and not a derived unit (see the SI brochure or NIST SP 330, e.g.).

Also, FWIW, a US nickel is exactly 5 g (see US Mint coin specifications). Gary Brown 01:07, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Indeed & it's even a base unit in the original French Metric system & the later Centimetre gram second system of units. This needs a mention. Jimp 3Oct05

Why kilogram as a SI-base unit?[edit]

Why is kilogram the base unit and not gram? A kg is easier to visualize, so I can understand why that amount of mass is the base, but why not define a "kilogram" as "gram", "gram" as "milligram" etc.? There has to be a historical reason why there is a "kilo" there? I find it unnatural to put a kilo = 10^3 in there. josteinaj, 23:13 UTC

(I see there's a discussion at about this) -josteinaj, 16:24 UTC, 8.feb.06

Weight/Gram Difference[edit]

How many grams are there in 50 pounds? Like if Amy Rose is 50 pounds, how many grams/decagrams/hectograms/kilograms is she? --PJ Pete

per information on this article, you can find:

 grams = pounds * \frac{ 1 }{ .0022046 }

 kilograms = pounds * \frac{ 1 }{ 2.2046 }

--Splarka (rant) 07:33, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Cooking and nutritional application[edit]

Dammit, my Japanese wife just asked me as she's cooking my dinner, since I'm so Wikipedia smart, "How many grams are there in a quarter teaspoon of salt?" (I have a heart problem.) And I couldn't find the answer anywhere. Since on the one hand modern cookbooks have no problem with the "1 tsp" without making it easy for the consumer to convert it to the nutrition label which is in grams, why, it shows up Wikipedia's Achilles heel! The answer is so imprecise, amateurish even, that it is not dealt with, it is not encyclopedic!

Well, I just did. Thank the lord for Google. I hung on an external link which deals with it. Sorry, you purists out there. JohnClarknew 02:39, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

No offense but the weight of a tsp (or any other size) of salt has too much variation to be listed as a fact. Salt is crystalline, and depending on how course it is the weight will vary widely. Course ground sea salt will be much lower than finely ground table salt, but even fine ground table salt will vary. Some cooking purist (Alton Brown being the most famous I know of) specifically prefer to do many things by weight for that reason. DocGratis 14:06, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

British Spelling[edit]

Can anyone tell me the British spelling of gram? Is it gram or gramme? 11:00, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

It is most commonly gram; however, gramme is sometimes seen, especially in old texts. E.g., in Huxley's Brave New World (published in 1932), one character exclaims, "A gramme is better than a damn". --Ferox117 (talk) 11:09, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Yep, I've always used gram, and hardly ever seen gramme (not sure anyone in the UK uses it now, it was used a bit in the 90s). In the lead section it states that "gram" is the US spelling and "gramme" the rest of the world. I don't think that's correct, but I'm not sure if anyone can verify it? --J. Atkins (talk - contribs) 08:36, 3 May 2008 (UTC) "Brit. also gramme". That seems to mean that gram is more prevalent in the UK. I'm gonna change the lead section. --J. Atkins (talk - contribs) 08:38, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm British, and a PhD student at Oxford, I have never heard of the word gramme. This is most cirtanly NOT the British spelling. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:36, 25 January 2011 (UTC).
Sources indicate that "gramme" is an alternate spelling. Paul August 23:58, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
My observations suggest that the word "gramme" was used before Britain started her metrication program. Once the word came into everyday usage, the shorter spelling was adopted. The Guardian style guide [1] implicitly advocates the use of "gram" (it uses the word "kilogram" in its section on metric units). The Daily Telegraph style guide [2] and the Times style guide [3] both explicity states that the word "gram" must be used rather than "gramme".Martinvl (talk) 09:08, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm British and I have come across both gramme and gram and think of them as synonymous, preferring gram (curiously I prefer kilogramme to kilogram). But what is correct? If anything is definitive this is: [[4]] - preferred kilogram, metre, litre. Used in 'parts of the English speaking world' - kilogramme, meter, liter. The Yowser (talk) 16:54, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

The SI brochure is definitve except in resepct of spelling - the symbol "km/h" is the same regardless of language (see kilometres per hour, but the way in which the word is written is dependant on the language. In the UK, the opinion of the Oxford Dictionary is held in high regard (but is only 99.99% definitve) and UK legislation explicitly permits either spelling. My own view is that "gramme" is a little old-fashioned, having been superceded by the "gram" in the 1970's when the Brits started using the metric system for real. Martinvl (talk) 18:08, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Just to add that it is still in some use. I'd have to find a link although I saw on the Royal Mint that they sold a coin and the specifications were '1 kilogramme'. Which shows the spelling is at least known to some people. (talk) 15:57, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Plural of Gram[edit]

Can anyone clarify the way the word gram is pluralised. I have encountered both "grams" and "grammes" in general usage - is the latter a British/Commonwealth English thing (related to "gramme" quoted above)? (talk) 20:16, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

gram->grams gramme->grammes

both are used in Brit. English, I don't believe there is a standard, but imagine that the older gramme (from the French) will die out for shorter gram. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:48, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Trinitrit (talk) 16:08, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
"9.2 Plurals: Plural unit names are used when they are required by the rules of English grammar. They are normally formed regularly, for example, “henries” is the plural of henry. According to Ref. [6], the following plurals are irregular: Singular —lux, hertz, siemens; Plural —lux, hertz, siemens. (See also Sec. 9.7.)"

However, in German, a SI unit does not have a plural form. Here, a unit is a unit and it is irrelevant whether you have one or "321 Gramm", "12 Kilometer" or "42 Henry".

Trinitrit (talk) 16:15, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
As for the choice of 'grams' versus 'grammes' I agree with comment above above: both seem in use and preference seems to be based on American versus British English, respectively. However, I got the impression, they can be used synonymously in British English, not American. In recent texts, I have only encountered 'grams'. For whatever that's worth :-)

The backward y symbol[edit]

This new ym symbol is confusing. What is its purpose and derevation

Patso —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Abbreviation "g" or "gm"?[edit]

Is "gm" here a typo?: "The International System of Units abbreviation for the gram is gm, and follows the numeric value with a space, as in "640 g"" Emike7500 (talk) 05:46, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Trinitrit (talk) 16:04, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
I beg to differ: the International System of Units abbreviation is "g".

"The kilogram: Among the base units of the International System, the kilogram is the only one whose name and symbol, for historical reasons, include a prefix. Names and symbols for decimal multiples and submultiples of the unit of mass are formed by attaching prefix names to the unit name “gram”, and prefix symbols to the unit symbol “g” [1]. "Source ""

again from
"10.2.2 Units— roman: The symbols for units and SI prefixes are roman: m = meter, cm = centimeter, g = gram, μg = microgram, L = liter, mL = milliliter"

(although if one is precise "liter" is not a SI-unit. In addition, the abbreviation can still (decision 1990) be either the minuscule or capital form of "L". If you want to be strict, then stick to the minuscule "l" since there has never been a "Mr Liter" around... but the letter can be easily confused with the numerical "1" and thus you have the option of choosing the capital version)

Why does "Milligram" redirect here?[edit]

There's no explanation here and no conversion chart. "Microgram" gets its own page, so I think "Milligram" should too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:49, 30 October 2010 (UTC)


Are these comparisons relevant? I weighed 20 paper clips and found them to be a little under 10 grams. Also, Smartie Candies are unknown in the United Kingdom. Are they relevant?

  • Smarties are unknown in the United Kingdom? Where do you live? The Outer Hebrides? Jonchapple (talk) 16:01, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Only Smartioes have the answer to that one. Perhaps that user should visit the page Smarties? The Yowser (talk) 16:56, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Revocation of 19 November 2011[edit]

Please discuss these changes at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Measurement#Changes to the ledes of many SI-related articles. Martinvl (talk) 18:37, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Is definition of UNIT [gram, kilogram] of MASS absolute or iffy?[edit]

Newton's law of universal gravitation states that "Gravity force is inversely proportional to the square of the on-centre distance between two point masses". Thus gram, a metric system unit of mass is defined as "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre, and at the temperature of melting ice"[2] (later 4 °C), a gram is now defined as one one-thousandth of the SI base unit, the kilogram, or 1×10-3 kg, which itself is defined as being equal to the mass of a physical prototype preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures [Wikipedia].

But the arcane reasoning in the theory evinces that the absolute weight force of each gram of one kilogram doesn't remain same, if stacked them all (1000 gm) i.e. the square of the on-certre distance is espied differently for each gram in the gravity model.

Similarly, 1 kg of a physical prototype preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures is equal to the mass of one litter of water in the PAN BALANCE SCALE. At ground level, on-centre distances might be ignored or impalpable in imbroglio but gravitational forces doesn't remain same if aforementioned masses are increased to a greater number equally in both pans. Although masses may be the same but different in their mammoth volumes say cubic meter. Thus their incongruent square of the on-certre distances elicits two different gravitational accelerations of earth starkly and hence a pan balance scale lopsided due to unequal moments about its support i.e

The centre to centre distance between EARTH & increased WATER mass is GREATER THAN THE centre to centre distance between EARTH & increased PROTOTYPE MASS

So, is the UNIT of mass [from infinitesimal particle to planet] superstitious notion and dependent on gravitating mass? (talk) 05:16, 27 December 2011 (UTC) Eclectic Eccentric Khattak No.1

I want to make it more simple in order to avoid confusion

Mass of an object can be found from its density but is gravitational equilibrium of pan balance scale bona-fide for calculating the mass for the purpose density as a very small error in gravitational equilibrium can lead to misrepresentation?

Examples of mistaking grams for milligrams and grains[edit]

This is not very encyclopedic text. This is filler material about an irrelevant, theoretical, highly unlikely mistake. It also states that mistaking grams and grains is a bigger mistake than mistaking grams and milligrams. This is factually incorrect! All of the text below should be cut from the article.

"While some authors use ad hoc abbreviations, this creates confusion. For example, the use of abbreviations such as "gm", "Gm", or "GM" for grams could potentially lead to serious errors in health-care settings where accidentally transposing "gm" to "mg" (milligrams) could result in a 1,000 times dosage error. ...
A bigger mistake is using the abbreviation "gr" for grams. The symbol "gr" stands for grains."

-- (talk) 12:20, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ (CIPM 1967, Recommendation 2; PV, 35 , 29 and Metrologia , 1968, 4 , 45)