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Litre vs. Quart — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 2, 2023
A litre is a metric unit of volume equal to 1,000 cubic centimeters, while a quart is an imperial unit equal to a quarter gallon.
Litre vs. Quart — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Litre and Quart


Key Differences

A litre is a unit of volume in the metric system, used worldwide for general quantitative measurements, particularly in the sale of liquids like beverages and gasoline. It is part of a system that uses multiples of ten, making it easy to convert between units. One litre is equivalent to 1,000 millilitres or 1 cubic decimeter.
The quart is a unit of volume in the imperial system, still used for domestic purposes in the United States. One quart is equal to two pints or four cups. It is less standardized than the litre, as the imperial quart and the U.S. quart have slightly different volumes, the former being approximately 1.136 liters and the latter about 0.946 liters.
In everyday use, a litre provides a universal measure, convenient for international trade and science. It is the standard in most countries and for all scientific applications. This standardization reduces confusion and facilitates communication in international contexts.
Quarts, however, have a cultural significance in the U.S., being used in recipes, at grocery stores, and when referring to quantities of liquid in daily life. The term 'quart' originates from the Latin 'quartus,' meaning one-fourth, reflecting the unit's value as a quarter of a gallon.
Although the litre and the quart both measure volume, they belong to different measurement systems and represent different quantities. Their usage depends on the region and context, with the litre being more prevalent globally due to the widespread adoption of the metric system.

Comparison Chart


Imperial (UK) and U.S. Customary


1,000 cubic centimeters
UK: ~1,136 cubic centimeters, US: ~946 cubic centimeters

In Gallons

0.22 gallons (approx.)
0.25 gallons


Worldwide except for the U.S.
Primarily in the U.S.


Standardized globally
Two different volumes in the UK and US

Compare with Definitions


A litre is a metric unit of volume.
He bought a litre of milk from the store.


The quart is mainly used in the United States.
Milk is often sold by the quart.


One litre is equivalent to 1,000 millilitres.
She needs a litre of water to make the recipe.


One quart equals two pints.
He added a quart of oil to the car.


The litre is used internationally for many measurements.
Fuel efficiency is measured in litres per 100 kilometers.


Quart originates from 'quartus,' meaning one-fourth.
She asked for a quart of paint for the project.


Bottled beverages are commonly sold by the litre.
The soda comes in two-litre bottles.


In the UK, a quart is slightly larger than in the US.
The recipe called for a quart of broth.


Litre denotes a volume in the metric system.
The engine has a capacity of 2 litres.


The quart (symbol: qt) is an English unit of volume equal to a quarter gallon. Three kinds of quarts are currently used: the liquid quart and dry quart of the US customary system and the imperial quart of the British imperial system.


The litre (British English spelling) or liter (American English spelling) (SI symbols L and l, other symbol used: ℓ) is a metric unit of volume. It is equal to 1 cubic decimetre (dm3), 1000 cubic centimetres (cm3) or 0.001 cubic metre (m3).


A unit of volume or capacity in the US Customary System, used in liquid measure, equal to 1/4 gallon or 32 ounces (0.946 liter).


Variant of liter.


A unit of volume or capacity in the US Customary System, used in dry measure, equal to 1/8 peck or 2 pints (1.101 liters).


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.


A unit of volume or capacity in the British Imperial System, used in liquid and dry measure, equal to 1.201 US liquid quarts or 1.032 US dry quarts (1.136 liters). See Table at measurement.


(informal) A measure of volume equivalent to a litre.


A container having a capacity of one quart.


Same as Liter.


The contents of such a container.


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)


A unit of liquid capacity equal to two pints; one-fourth (quarter) of a gallon. Equivalent to 1.136 liters in the UK and 0.946 liter (liquid quart) or 1.101 liters (dry quart) in the U.S.


(cards) Four successive cards of the same suit.


(obsolete) A fourth; a quarter; hence, a region of the earth.


The fourth part; a quarter; hence, a region of the earth.
Camber did possess the western quart.


A measure of capacity, both in dry and in liquid measure; the fourth part of a gallon; the eighth part of a peck; two pints.


A vessel or measure containing a quart.


In cards, four successive cards of the same suit. Cf. Tierce, 4.


A United States liquid unit equal to 32 fluid ounces; four quarts equal one gallon


A British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 2 pints or 1.136 liters


A United States dry unit equal to 2 pints or 67.2 cubic inches


A quart is an imperial unit of liquid volume.
I purchased a quart of blueberries.

Common Curiosities

What is larger, a litre or a quart?

A litre is larger than a U.S. quart but smaller than a UK quart.

Can you convert litres to quarts?

Yes, litres can be converted to quarts; 1 litre is approximately 1.0567 U.S. quarts.

Is a quart used for dry ingredients?

A quart can measure both liquid and dry ingredients in the U.S.

How many cups are in a litre?

There are about 4.22675 cups in a litre.

Why is litre spelled differently in American English?

In American English, it is often spelled 'liter', while 'litre' is the British spelling.

How is the quart used in daily life in the U.S.?

The quart is used for measuring liquids like milk and oil.

What is the symbol for litre?

The symbol for litre is 'L' or 'l'.

Do UK and US quarts have the same volume?

No, the UK quart is larger than the US quart.

What is the symbol for quart?

The symbol for quart is 'qt'.

Are litres and quarts interchangeable?

They are not directly interchangeable as they are different in volume.

How many millilitres are in a quart?

There are approximately 946.353 millilitres in a U.S. quart.

Is there a visual way to understand a litre?

A litre is roughly equivalent to the volume of a 10 cm cube.

Can quart sizes vary based on what is being measured?

Yes, the volume may slightly vary if measuring liquids versus dry substances.

Is the litre part of the International System of Units?

Yes, the litre is part of the International System of Units (SI).

Do all countries use the quart?

No, the quart is primarily used in the United States.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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