Math Homework Help: Volume and Capacity

Volume and capacity are crucial geometry and measurement concepts, and they're also very important in science. For homework help with volume and capacity, read on!

Find available tutors

Understanding Volume and Capacity

The volume of a solid object is the amount of space that it takes up. Capacity is the volume of liquid or any other substance that a container can hold. You can think of volume as the space something fills up, while capacity is the amount of space that's available to be filled up. Things that have volume include solid objects, like rocks and trees. Liquids, like water, juice and milk, also have volume. In contrast, empty boxes, buckets and bottles have capacity.

Measuring the Volume of Solids

The volume of a solid object is calculated by multiplying the area of its base by its height (V = b x h). It's reported in cubic units, like cubic centimeters, cubic meters and cubic inches. The type of cubic units that you use to report an object's volume depends on the type of units that its base and height are measured in. For instance, if a brick has a base with an area of ten square inches and a height of eight inches, its volume would be 80 cubic inches (10 x 8 = 80).

Liquid Volume

The volume of liquids is usually measured in units like liters, milliliters, gallons or pints. These units are only used for volume, so you don't need to add the word 'cubic' to the units in your answer. The volume of a liquid is typically calculated by determining the capacity of its container.

Finding the Capacity

Since containers generally hold liquids or loose substances, their capacities are usually measured in units of liquid volume (quarts, liters and so on). Containers, like measuring cups and beakers, have their capacities marked on the side, and you can measure the volume of a quantity of liquid by placing the container on a level surface and filling it to the point that's marked.

If a container's capacity isn't indicated, you can calculate it by figuring out what its volume would be if it were full. Here are two ways to do this:

  1. Fill the container with water, and then measure the liquid needed to fill it in a beaker or measuring cup. The volume of liquid that the container can hold is equal to its capacity.
  2. Measure the inside dimensions of the container, and use the appropriate formula to calculate its cubic volume. Convert the answer into cubic decimeters (10 cubic decimeters = 1 cubic meter), and then convert that answer into liters (1 cubic decimeter = 1 liter).
Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Math Homework: What to Expect and Why IT Is Important

    Parents across the country are starting to question the impact that math homework has on their children. This article discusses why math homework is important and what parents should expect to see in their children's assignments.

  • More Blog Articles
    Online Math Homework Help

    Math homework can be especially tricky because there are so many different formulas and procedures to remember. Students from elementary, through high school, even college, who are experiencing difficulties with their math homework can find some aid online thanks to Internet homework helper sites.

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth