February 23, 2009

Understanding Roman Numerals

Roman numerals are used in English language in a variety of ways. Haven’t you seen your grandpa’s watch with Roman numerals? Even today to give a classic touch watch makers are marking the numbers on dials of wrist watches and wall clocks. But the Arabic Numerals gained wide acceptance and in our daily use the Roman Numerals got confined to some special uses.

Clock in the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, UKImage via Wikipedia


You might be wondering then when and where to use the Roman Numerals. Don’t worry here I go. Mark the Numbered bullets I have used that suggest the currency of use and Microsoft words still features this form of bullet.

Upper Case Roman Numerals are used after names and titles:
Louis XVI, Kenedy II

Lower case Roman Numerals are generally used to number the pages of the introduction to a book: For example the sixth page of the introduction will typically bear the number vii rather that VI or 6.

Capital Roman Numerals are also used to:

I. To number the chapters or appendices of a book.
II. To number the stanzas of a book.
III. To number the acts of a play.

Some periodicals also use Roman numerals for their Volumes.
I. New literally Journal Vol. X
II. Times Vol. XVI No. 23

A combination of both Roman and Arabic numerals is also used for the sections of an outline.
1. I Introduction:
2. II.1 The novel: From – to --
3. II.2 The novel: From – to –

Remember 1, 2, 3 …so on are called Arabic numbers.

How the Roman numbers began. Two hands crossed became X 10 fingers became 10 and X represents 10.

The initial I means subtractions and the later I or I’s means addition.

I=1 II=2 III=3 IV=4 V=5 VI=6
VII=7 VIII=8 IX=9 X=10
XX=20 XXX=30 XL=40 L=50
LX=60 LXX=70 LXXX=80 XC=90 C=100
CC=200 CCC=300 CD=400 D=500
DC=600 DCC=700 DCCC=800 CM=900
M=1000 MM=2000

Numbers between the above numerals are formed following the Addition and Subtraction Rules.

Thank you for going through this post.

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