Roman Numerals

How to read and write roman numerals?

Hundreds of year ago, the Romans had a system of numbers which had only seven symbols. Each symbol had a different value and there was no symbol for 0.

The symbol of Roman Numerals and their values are:

Roman Numerals

Romans used different combinations of symbols to write numbers using adding and subtraction. 

For reading and writing numbers upto 50 we need only the first 4 symbols.

I V X L

The numerals used in the present number system (decimal system) are

0,        1,        2,        3,        4,        5,        6,        7,        8,        9.

These numerals were invented by Indians and later through the Arabs reached Europe. Hence this number system is termed as Hindu-Arabic Number System.

Early Romans developed a system of numerals. They are called Roman numerals. These are also commonly used in day-to-day life.

Sometimes the units of a book, different volumes of a book, class rooms in a school, the parts of a question, etc., are numbered in Roman numerals. On the dials of some clocks the hours are marked in Roman numerals.

Roman numerals are formed by using 7 symbols –

I,        V,        X,        L,        C,        D,        M.

The following table shows the Roman numerals and their corresponding values.


Roman Numerals

I

V

X

L

C

D

M

Value of the symbol in Hindu-Arabic numbers.

1

5

10

50

100

500

1000


This is not a place value system.

The numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 don’t have symbols in Roman System.

They are got by the method of addition or subtraction.


Rules for the First Five Symbols:

1: Multiplication Rule:

When a symbol is repeated in succession, we multiply the value of the numeral by the number of times it is repeated.

A symbol cannot be repeated more than three times in succession.

i.e., The symbol I, X, C and M can be repeated in succession up to 3 times only in writing a number.


For example:

II = 1 × 2 = 2

III = 1 × 3 = 3          or,  III = 1 + 1 + 1 = 3

XX = 10 × 2 = 20

XXX = 10 × 3 = 30    or,  XXX = 10 + 10 + 10 = 30

CCC = 100 × 3 = 300     or, CCC = 100 + 100 + 100 = 300

We cannot write 40 as XXXX.

The symbol cannot be repeated more than three times.


2. Addition Rule:

Writing a smaller number to the right of a larger number means the numbers have to be added.

i.e., If a symbol is written to the right of a greater number, we add its value to the value of the symbol on the left.

For example:

VI = 5 + 1 = 6

XI = 10 + 1 = 11

XII = 10 + 1 + 1 = 12

XV = 10 + 5 = 15


3. Subtraction Rule:

Writing a smaller number to the left of a larger number means that the smaller number has to be subtracted from the larger number. The symbol I can be used for subtraction from V and X only. The symbol X can be subtracted only from L and C.

i.e., If a symbol is written to the left of a greater number, we subtract its value from the value of the symbol on the right.

For example: 

IV = 5 - 1 = 4

IX = 10 - 1 = 9

XL = 50 - 10 = 40

The symbol V cannot be repeated or subtracted.

We do not repeat V twice to get 10. We already have a symbol for 10. So VV for writing 10 is not correct.

We do not subtract 5 from any symbol. VX is not correct.


4. The symbol V,L and D are not repeated to form a bigger number.

5. While writing Roman numbers first write the largest numeral. Then put smaller numerals to the right (for addition) or left (for subtraction)

Note: The symbol V is never subtracted.


The following table gives the Roman numerals corresponding to the Hindu-Arabic numerals.

Hindu-Arabic Numbers

Roman Numbers

1


2


3


4


5


6


7


8


9


10


11


12


13


14


15


16


17


18


19


20


21


22


23


24


25


26


27


28


29


30


34


39


40


45


50


55


59


60


75


80


88


90


95


100

I


II


III


IV


V


VI


VII


VIII


IX


X


XI


XII


XIII


XIV


XV


XVI


XVII


XVIII


XIX


XX


XXI


XXII


XXIII


XXIV


XXV


XXVI


XXVII


XXVIII


XXIX


XXX


XXXIV


XXXIX


XL


XLV


L


LV


LIX


LX


LXXV


LXXX


LXXXVIII


XC


XCV


C


A list of Roman Numerals and their value are given below:

List of Roman Numerals Chart

Writing Numbers in Roman Numerals:

For example:

1. Write the Roman Numerals for 27. Break up the number into Tens and Ones.

27 = 20 + 7

Write the symbol for 20 (XX) and place the symbol for 7 (VII) after it.

27 convert roman numerals as XXVII


2. Write the Roman numeral number for 43.

43 = 40 + 3

Symbol for 40 XL

Symbol for 3 III

Roman Numerals for 43 is XLIII.


3. Write 45 in Roman numeral.

We cannot write 45 as VL, because V is never subtracted.

Hence 45 = (50 – 10) + 5

              = (L – X) + V

              = XLV

Note: V, L and D do not precede any bigger digit.


4. Write 39 in Roman numeral.

39 = 30 + 9

     = (10 + 10 + 10) + (10 - 1)

     = (X + X + X) + (X – I)

     = XXXIX


Reading Roman Numerals:

Look out for a subtraction operation. Do the subtraction before adding the numbers.

For example:

1. XXIV

I = 1

V = 5

IV = 4

XX = 20

IV = 4

Hindu –Arabic numeral for XXIV is 24. 


2. XIX

X = 10

IX = 9 

Hindu –Arabic number for XIX = 19


3. XXXII

In this example no subtraction is needed.

XXX = 30

II = 2

Hindu – Arabic number for XXXII = 32



4. Express XIV in decimal system of numeration.

XIV = X – IV

       = 10 + 4

       = 14


5. Express XXXV in decimal system of numeration

XXXV = XXX + V

         = X + X + X + V

         = 10 + 10 + 10 + 5

         = 35


Solved Examples on Roman Numerals:

1. Write the Hindu-Arabic numerals for the following:

(i) XXII

(ii) IX

(iii) XIV

(iv) XXXIX


Solution:

(i) XXII = 10 + 10 + 1 + 1 = 22

(ii) IX = 10 - 1 = 9

(iii) XIV = 10 + 5 - 1 = 14

(iv) XXXIX = 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 - 1 = 39


2. Write each of the following in a Roman numeral:

(i) 9

(ii) 14

(iii) 26

(iv) 31

(v) 37


Solution:

(i) 9 = IX

(ii) 14 = 10 + 4 = XIV

(iii) 26 = 10 + 10 + 5 + 1 = XXVI

(iv) 31 = 10 + 10 + 10 + 1 = XXXI

(v) 37 = 10 + 10 + 10 + 5 + 1 + 1 = XXXVII


Understanding of Roman Numerals:

Matchsticks.

Roman Numerals Made of 2 Matchsticks

Each numeral is made of 2 matchsticks.



Roman Numerals Made of 3 Matchsticks

Each numeral is made of 3 matchsticks.



Roman Numerals Made of 4 Matchsticks

Each numeral is made of 4 matchsticks.


Activity:

Roman numeral are used in many places will analogue clocks and watches. Find out some other places where these are used.


Questions and Answers on Roman Numerals:

I. Write the corresponding Roman numerals.

(i) 67

(ii) 58

(iii) 13

(iv) 16

(v) 29

(vi) 36

(vii) 5

(viii) 26

(ix) 81

(x) 77


Answer:

I. (i) LXVII

(ii) LVIII

(iii) XIII

(iv) XVI

(v) XXIX

(vi) XXXVI

(vii) V

(viii) XXVI

(ix) LXXXI

(x) LXXVII


II. Write the corresponding Hindu-Arabic numerals.

(i) XCIX

(ii) LVI

(iii) XXVI

(iv) XCVI

(v) LXXXIII

(vi) XXX

(vii) XCI

(viii) XXV

(ix) LXIX

(x) VI


Answer:

II. (i) 99

(ii) 56

(iii) 26

(iv) 96

(v) 83

(vi) 30

(vii) 91

(viii) 25

(ix) 69

(x) 6


III. Write whether the following are true or false.

(i) XVI = 14

(ii) IV = 6

(iii) IX = 9

(iv) XL = 60

(v) XC = 90


Answer:

III. (i) False

(ii) False

(iii) True

(iv) False

(v) True


IV. Fill in the correct sign < or >.

(i) XXIX ............ XXXI

(ii) XLV ............ LXV

(iii) XCII ............ XC

(iv) LXX ............ XL

(v) XCI ............ LXXI


Answer:

IV. (i) <

(ii) <

(iii) >

(iv) >

(v) >


V. Which of the following are meaningless?

(i) VX

(ii) IXIV

(iii) XIX

(iv) XVI

(v) VVV

(vi) XV

(vii) LL

(viii) LC

(ix) XVIII

(x) VL


Answer:

V. (i) VX

(ii) IXIV

(iv) XVI

(v) VVV

(vii) LL

(viii) LC

(x) VL


VI: Solve and write the answers in Roman Numerals:

(i) 6 + 18 = _____

(ii) 36 - 6 = _____

(iii) XXI + XIII = _____

(iv) XXI - X = _____

(v) XXX - VII = _____

(vi) X + XI = _____

(vii) 50 - 25 = _____

(viii) 14 + 9 = _____


Answer:

VI: (i) XXIV

(ii) XXX

(iii) VIII

(iv) XI

(v) XXIII

(vi) XXI

(vii) XXV

(viii) XXIII

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