Q:

# How do I read Roman numerals?

A:

In order to read Roman numerals, make sure to know what each symbol means, when numbers add or subtract, and how to handle somewhat-larger numbers.

## Keep Learning

Credit: Joelle Icard Photodisc Getty Images

1. Know each symbol

In Roman numerals, M equals 1,000, D equals 500, C equals 100, L equals 50, X equals 10, and I equals one.

2. Add numbers when bigger is followed by smaller

When a larger number is followed by a smaller number, such as XI, the numbers are added. Thus, XI = 10 + 1 = 11.

3. Subtract numbers when smaller is followed by bigger

When it is the opposite, such as IX, the smaller number is subtracted from the bigger number. So, IX = 10 - 1 = 9.

4. Use only three of the same symbol together

When using multiple numbers of the same value, no more than three of the same symbol should appear together. If four are needed, it should be that value subtracted from the next-largest value. Examples include XL = 40, IV = 4 and CD = 400.

5. Add a bar on top if multiplying by 1,000

For each value above one, placing a bar or vinculum above the number multiplies it by 1,000. For instance, an X with a vinculum is 10,000.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A: The Roman numerals for one to five are I, II, III, IV and V. The Roman numeral system assigned number values to certain letters in the Roman alphabet. By c... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: As the name suggests, Roman numerals originated in Ancient Rome. The symbols used to make up Roman numerals began showing up in artifacts from 900 to 800 B... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: The Roman numeral equivalent of 1991 is MCMXCI. In the Roman numeral system, numbers are written as letters, and many numbers must be broken into parts to ... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: The Roman numeral for the number four is IV. The Roman numeral system uses combinations of letters to form numerals. The basic letters in the system are I ... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
PEOPLE SEARCH FOR