Roman Numerals – Chart, Rules

Roman numerals is a number system that was devised by the ancient Romans for the purpose of counting and performing other day-to-day transactions. Several letters from the Latin alphabet are used for the representation of roman numerals. They are typically utilized as general suffixes for people across generations, hour marks on a clock, to denote the names of Popes and Monarchs, etc. In this article, we will see how to write and interpret Roman numerals. Additionally, we will also explore the various tips and tricks that can be used to make this chapter easier to learn and understand.

What are Roman Numerals?

Roman numerals are a type of number system that is used to represent a fixed integer value. It was widely used throughout Europe as the standard writing system until the late middle ages. It came into being as the ancient Romans figured that once a number reaches 10 it becomes very hard to count on one’s fingers. Thus, there was a need to create a standardized system that could be used for trade and communications.

Modern Roman numerals use seven letters to represent different numbers. These are I, V, X, L, C, D, and M which hold the integer values of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 respectively. Once you understand the rules to read and write Roman numerals, it will be very easy for you to work with them.

Roman Numerals Chart

The Roman numerals chart can prove to be very helpful when converting a Roman numeral to an integer value or vice versa.

Roman Numerals Chart

Printable Roman Numerals Chart

As mentioned above there are seven Latin letters that are used to represent Roman numerals. By changing the placement of these letters we can convert a natural number into a roman numeral. Similarly, the converse operation can also be performed.

For example, we have the roman numeral LX. The value is (50 + 10) = 60. Thus, we can say that if a symbol holding a greater value is placed after another symbol of greater or equal value, it will be added. However, if a symbol of a smaller value is placed before a greater value symbol, it will be subtracted. Thus, XL will be (50 – 10) = 40.

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In addition to these basic conversions, there are a couple of rules you need to be watchful of while converting the digits to Roman numerals and vice versa.

Roman Numerals Calculator

Rules for Writing Roman Numerals

It is necessary for students to remember the rules for writing Roman numbers in order to avoid mistakes. There are 4 basic principles for writing Roman numerals as listed below:

    • The letters I, X, C can be repeated thrice in succession. Additionally, L, V, D cannot be repeated or the number is considered to be invalid.
    • If a lower value digit is written to the left of a higher value digit, it is subtracted.
    • If a lower value digit is written to the right of a higher value digit, it is added.
    • Only I, X, and C can be used as subtractive numerals.

Years in Roman Numerals

Rules to Convert Roman Numerals to Numbers?

The following are the rules to convert Roman numerals to numbers.

    • To multiply a number by a factor of 1000 a bar is placed over it.
    • A letter holding a lower value that is placed to the left of a higher value number results in the subtraction of the smaller number from the larger one.
    • A letter holding a higher value that is placed to the left of a lower value number results in the addition of both values.

Roman Numerals Worksheet

Roman numerals worksheets can promote a better understanding of reading and writing roman numerals. It consists of problems like converting numbers to roman numerals and vice versa, word problems, etc.

Example 1: Find the Difference Between MCMXI and CLX.


Roman Numeral MCMXI is equal to 1911 and CLXII is 160.

Now, MCMXI – CLX = 1911 – 160 = 1751

1751 in Roman Numerals = 1000 + 500 + 200 + 50 + 1 = MDCCLI

Example 2: Evaluate the following Roman Numerals MXXII – LXX – LII.


MXXII = 1022, LXX = 70, and LII = 52

⇒ MXXII – LXX – LII = 1022 – 70 – 52 = 900

957 in Roman Numerals = CM

Tips to Remember Roman Numerals

As most of us are accustomed to working with real numbers, it can become confusing for children when they are required to learn about Roman numerals. The following is a list of techniques that can be used to help kids instill an in-depth understanding of the topic.

    • Using Mnemonics: This is one of the most effective ways to learn a topic. If you can use a mnemonic it becomes easier to relate to roman numerals and you can recall it faster when required. It also combats the issue of confusion. Thus, kids will not get confused as to what letter holds which value. One such mnemonic is My Dear Cat Loves Xtra Vitamins Intensely. Here, the bold letters represent roman numerals in descending order.
    • Innovative Methods: You can also devise creative ways that are indigenous to you while learning this topic. As long as the information you are remembering is correct, and it is easy for you to retain. Thus, you can come up with your own specific associations by thinking of certain phrases or lines.
    • Practice Problems: If you solve enough questions on the topic of roman numerals, you will automatically be able to remember how to solve questions based on the same and what each notation denotes. Using well-structured worksheets is a fantastic option to find practice sums that are arranged in an increasing level of difficulty. Hence, kids get the opportunity to study the topic in an organized way.
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Numbers to Roman Numerals

To convert Arabic numbers to Roman Numerals, we split the numbers into their least expandable form, write their respective roman letter and add/subtract them. For example, 2021 in Roman numerals: 2021 = 1000 + 1000 + 10 + 10 + 1 = MMXXI

Roman Numerals to Numbers

To convert Roman numerals to numbers, we split roman numerals into single letters, write their numerical values and add/subtract them, i.e. XII = X + I + I = 10 + 1 + 1 = 12.

FAQs on Roman Numerals

What are Roman Numerals in Maths?

Roman numerals are the symbolic representation of numbers that do not follow a place value system. They comprise Latin alphabets I, V, X, L, C, D, and M. These are used to represent the numbers 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, and 1000. Every number can be decomposed in order to express it as a Roman numeral.

What are the Basic Rules to Write Roman Numerals?

There are 4 basic rules to write Roman numerals.

    • A letter can be repeated only thrice in succession.
    • A large number written to the left of a smaller number leads to the addition of both values.
    • A large number written to the right of a smaller number leads to the subtraction of a lesser value from the greater number.
    • Only I, C, and X can be used as numerals used for subtraction.

How Do You Write 2020 in Roman Numerals?

The number 2020 first needs to be broken down into its component values. Accordingly, 2020 can be expressed as, 2020 = 1000 + 1000 + 10 + 10 = M + M + X + X = MMXX. Hence, 2020 can be written as MMXX in Roman numerals.

What is Roman Numeral XXVII in Numbers?

We first denote each roman numeral as its corresponding integer value. XXVII can be expressed as X + X + V + I + I = 10 + 10 + 5 + 1 +1 = 27. Thus, XXVII in Roman numerals is 27.

How to Write Roman Numbers?

All Roman numerals are written using the representation of the Roman number of the seven primary numbers. Each of those seven primary numbers is denoted by using a symbol as given below:

    • 1 is represented by I.
    • 5 is represented by V.
    • 10 is represented by X.
    • 50 is represented by L.
    • 100 is represented by C.
    • 500 is represented by D.
    • 1000 is represented by M.

Using these combinations, numbers can be easily converted to Roman numerals symbols.

What is the Roman Numeral M in Numbers?

There are 7 primary numbers that are available in the Roman numeral system and the highest is given by M. The Roman numeral M represents 1000 or thousand from the decimal number system.

What is the Roman Numeral for 6?

The Roman number for 6 can be found out in the following manner.

6 = 5 + 1. As per the list of the Roman numerals, we know that 5 is V and 1 is I. And that makes the Roman numeral conversion of 6 as VI.

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What is the Roman numeral for 5000?

The Roman numeral M stands for 1000. As M cannot be repeated more than 3 times, and for larger numbers, we denote bar over the basic Roman Numeral, 5000 is written as V̅ in Roman numerals.

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How do we Write 100 in Roman Numbers?

100 is one of the seven fundamental Roman conversions. The letter C is used to represent 100 in the Roman numeral system. The number 100 in roman numbers is equal to C.

What is Zero in Roman Numbers?

According to Roman numerals history, the roman system did not have any value to represent zero. The zero is represented by using the word nulla. According to the Latin language, the word nulla means none. So far there is no specific symbol or letter to represent zero in the Roman numeral system.

How do I Teach My Child Roman Numerals?

The first step is to introduce the Roman numeral system in terms of natural numbers. Children need to build a foundation of the 7 fundamental numbers and what letters are used to represent them. Finally, you need to teach kids the steps to convert a natural number to a Roman numeral and vice versa.

Where are Roman Numerals used in Everyday Life?

Roman numerals are used in the French Republican Calendar. They are also used to denote varying levels of brightness in photography, the magnitude of earthquakes in seismology, hierarchical relationships, page numbering of books, chapter numbers, and so on.

How to Do Counting in Roman Numbers?

Counting in Roman numerals is represented with the help of seven special letters to represent different numeric values. These special letters are I, V, X, L, C, D, and M. These letters individually hold a numeric value. Such as the numeric value of I is 1, V is 5, X is 10, L is 50, C is 100, D is 500, and M is 1000 respectively. Counting in the Roman numerals is represented as One (I), two (II), three (III), four (IV), five (V), and so on.

How to Convert Roman Numerals to Numbers?

The following steps are used to convert Roman numerals to numbers:

    • Locate the largest roman number within the given number.
    • If the largest symbol is the first digit count how many times it appears in succession. If it appears second, subtract the value of the number before it and add it to the answer.
    • Continue repeating the steps till you get the final answer.


How to Properly Write a Date in Roman Numerals?

If we are following the MM.DD.YYYY format, the steps to convert a date in Roman numerals is as follows:

    1. Convert the month into the Roman numeral. Thus, if August is under consideration, as it is the 8th month, it will be denoted by VIII.
    1. Express the date as the Roman numeral.
    1. Use the rules of Roman numerals to express the year and write it in the format required separated by dots.

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