Difference Wiki

Gallon vs. Litre: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 15, 2023
A gallon is a unit of volume used primarily in the U.S., while a litre (or liter) is a metric unit of volume. One U.S. gallon equals 3.785 liters.

Key Differences

A gallon and a litre are both units of measurement used to quantify volume, but they hail from different measurement systems and have distinct histories. The gallon is most commonly used in the United States and is a part of the U.S. customary system of measurements. In contrast, the litre, spelled "liter" in American English, is a metric unit and is recognized and utilized globally, especially in countries that have adopted the metric system.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023
Historically, the term "gallon" has had various definitions, but in the U.S., the most widely used is the U.S. liquid gallon, which is defined as 231 cubic inches. The litre, on the other hand, was introduced by the French during the late 18th century and is derived from the original Greek term for a measure, "litra." One litre is defined as the volume of one kilogram of pure water at its maximum density under standard conditions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023
It's essential to note that there are differences within the category of gallons too. For instance, the U.S. liquid gallon differs from the U.S. dry gallon and the UK's imperial gallon. The litre maintains more consistency worldwide, although its definition has undergone minor changes in the past.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023
To provide a practical perspective, consider fuel consumption. In the U.S., fuel efficiency is often measured in miles per gallon. In many other parts of the world, it's measured in liters per 100 kilometers. These distinctions underscore the regional preferences for the gallon and litre as units of volume.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Comparison Chart

Measurement System

U.S. customary system
Metric system
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023
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Usage

Primarily in the U.S.
Globally, especially in metric system countries
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Historical Origin

Various definitions; U.S. liquid gallon defined as 231 cubic inches
Introduced by the French; derived from Greek "litra"
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Variations

U.S. liquid gallon, U.S. dry gallon, Imperial gallon
Standardized metric unit
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Practical Application

Fuel efficiency in the U.S. measured in miles per gallon
Fuel efficiency in many countries measured in liters per 100 km
Sara Rehman
Oct 15, 2023

Gallon and Litre Definitions

Gallon

A container with a capacity of one gallon.
Fill up that gallon with fresh water.
Sara Rehman
Oct 15, 2023
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Litre

A measure used globally, especially in metric system countries.
Gasoline in Europe is often sold by the litre.
Janet White
Oct 15, 2023

Gallon

A unit of volume in the U.S. customary system.
He bought a gallon of milk from the store.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 15, 2023

Litre

Standardized for measuring both liquids and solids.
The jar has a capacity of three litres.
Harlon Moss
Oct 15, 2023

Gallon

Equal to 231 cubic inches or 3.785 liters (U.S. liquid gallon).
The car's fuel tank can hold 15 gallons.
Harlon Moss
Oct 15, 2023

Litre

A metric unit of volume.
She poured a litre of juice into the pitcher.
Sara Rehman
Oct 15, 2023

Gallon

Differentiated from dry and imperial gallons.
Remember, the U.S. gallon and the imperial gallon are not the same.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Litre

Equal to 1,000 cubic centimeters or 1/1,000 cubic meter.
The bottle contains two litres of soda.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 15, 2023

Gallon

A measurement used primarily for liquid substances.
The aquarium is twenty gallons in size.
Harlon Moss
Oct 15, 2023

Litre

Represents the volume of one kilogram of water.
One litre of water weighs roughly one kilogram.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 15, 2023

Gallon

A unit of volume in the US Customary System, used in liquid measure, equal to 4 quarts (3.785 liters).
Sumera Saeed
Sep 01, 2019

Litre

Variant of liter.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 01, 2019

Gallon

A unit of volume in the British Imperial System, used in liquid and dry measure, equal to 4 quarts (4.546 liters). See Table at measurement.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 01, 2019

Litre

The metric unit of fluid measure, equal to one cubic decimetre. Symbols: l, L, ℓ
You should be able to fill four cups with one litre of water.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 01, 2019

Litre

(informal) A measure of volume equivalent to a litre.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 01, 2019

Litre

Same as Liter.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 01, 2019

Litre

A metric unit of capacity equal to the volume of 1 kilogram of pure water at 4 degrees centigrade and 760 mm of mercury (or approximately 1.76 pints)
Sumera Saeed
Sep 01, 2019

FAQs

How many liters are in a U.S. gallon?

One U.S. gallon is equivalent to 3.785 liters.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Is a litre part of the metric system?

Yes, the litre is a metric unit of volume.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 15, 2023

Can we convert gallons to liters and vice versa?

Yes, with the conversion factor of 3.785 liters per U.S. gallon.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Are there different types of gallons?

Yes, including the U.S. liquid gallon, U.S. dry gallon, and the UK's imperial gallon.
Sara Rehman
Oct 15, 2023

Is a litre the same everywhere?

Yes, the litre has a standardized metric definition.
Harlon Moss
Oct 15, 2023

Why is the U.S. gallon different from the imperial gallon?

Historical definitions and standards led to the differences.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 15, 2023

What's the origin of the term "litre"?

It derives from the Greek term "litra" for a measure.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Is a milliliter a subdivision of a litre?

Yes, there are 1,000 milliliters in a litre.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 15, 2023

In which countries is fuel sold by the gallon?

Primarily in the U.S.
Harlon Moss
Oct 15, 2023

How many cubic inches are in a U.S. liquid gallon?

There are 231 cubic inches in a U.S. liquid gallon.
Janet White
Oct 15, 2023

Do the UK and the U.S. use the same gallon?

No, the UK uses the imperial gallon, which is larger.
Sara Rehman
Oct 15, 2023

Which is larger, a U.S. gallon or an imperial gallon?

The imperial gallon is larger.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Can I use gallons and liters interchangeably in recipes?

It's essential to convert between them correctly, as they represent different volumes.
Janet White
Oct 15, 2023

Is there a simple way to visualize a litre?

Think of a one-liter soda bottle.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 15, 2023

Is the gallon used worldwide?

The gallon is primarily used in the U.S., while the UK uses the imperial gallon.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

Are gallons and liters used for both solids and liquids?

Typically, gallons and liters measure liquids, but they can be used for solids.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

How is fuel efficiency typically measured outside the U.S.?

Often in liters per 100 kilometers.
Harlon Moss
Oct 15, 2023

Is the spelling "liter" also correct?

Yes, "liter" is the American spelling, while "litre" is the British spelling.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 15, 2023

Why was the litre defined based on water?

Because water's properties are consistent and can be easily standardized.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 15, 2023

How do I convert between U.S. and imperial gallons?

One imperial gallon is equivalent to about 1.2 U.S. gallons.
Janet White
Oct 15, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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