Roman Numerals?

So I is 1 and V is 5 so VI is 6, makes sense because I + V is 5 + 1 is 6 but since were talking about adding shouldn't it not matter when you flip it so V + I is also 6 but apparently VI is 4. I dont get it

Updates:
opps i typo there IV is 4 not VI

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Most Helpful Guy

  • roman numerals aren't adding. don't try and apply arabic mathematics to an entirely different numeric system. roman numerals are simply the roman form of numbers so IF you wanted to apply arabic mathematics you wouldn't say IV is the same as I-V or I+V the equation would be V-I

    just like 15 and 51 aren't the same VI and IV aren't the same and shouldn't be thought the same in terms of an equation of reaching any outcome

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    • OK so if they aren't the same how do know the difference

    • because lets say you were back in Rome. you wouldn't do math by simply adding or subtracting the roman numerals you see. so for the example VI if we wanted to apply a similar principle in Arabic numbers it would be 5,1 (with an implication of adding 1) and for IV you'd have 1,5 with implication that the 1 before the five indicates what you are subtracting

      does that make sense?
      so for the roman numeral 8 (VIII) it would be like taking 5,1,1,1 the placement (in sequence) of the numeral is what implies addition or subtraction rather than the actual roman numeral you see.

    • thanks for MH

What Girls Said 4

  • Roman Numerals are actually not that hard when you get the sequence down. It's a bit like learning a language that only has a few words to learn.

    I = the singles, 1-3
    V = the fives
    X = the tens
    L = the fifties
    C = the hundreds
    D = the five hundreds
    M = the thousands

    If you consider that VI means 6, it quite simply means V plus I.
    Therefore, the number 56 is LVI.
    The number 103 is CIII.

    If something is less than "5", "10", "50", etc, you would put the reduced amount to the left of the symbol.

    So if 56 is LVI, then 46 is XLVI, meaning the decadent of "40" is XL, but you need to add the 6 which is VI. So altogether XLVII, and not "VIL" or "IVL".

    It's fun to figure out, and you're learning something historic, so I'm glad to see this question. :)

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  • Basically they don't like 4 in a row of a number, apparently, so they substitute it with "almost (next big #)". I guess because it's based on 5s. (5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000)

    Examples -
    IV - 4 - "almost 5."
    IX - 9 - "almost 10."
    XIX - "almost 20."
    XL - almost 50.
    XC - almost 100.
    MCM - almost 2000
    (1998: MCMXCVIII or to write it out- M CM XC VIII)
    Etc. <-- Latin, haha. Sorry pun.

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  • Since roman numerals use anything to the left of V is subtract and anything to the right of it is add... then it makes perfect sense why VI is 6 and IV is 4

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  • i dont get it either...

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What Guys Said 8

  • Don't think of it as 5-1 or 5+1, that'll confuse you because you'll always be thinking about the V first.

    Think of it as 1 before 5, and 1 after 5. IV is 1, before the 5. 1 number before 5 is 4. VI is 1 after 5, and the number after 5 is 6. VII is two ones after 5, so it's 7. IX is one before 10, so it's 9. XXIV is two tens, and then one before five, so 24.

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  • Think that when you flip it's the reverse logic. V + I = VI, so 5 + 1 = 6. The I comes after the V, so you +

    I + V = IV, so 5 - 1 = 4. The I comes before the V, so you -

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  • IV = 4
    VI = 6
    IV is one before 5
    VI is one after 5

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  • Look at it like this
    6 is VI. Because V=5 and I=1 so V+I = 6. Right?
    4 is IV because V = 5 and I=1 so V-I=4, Right? Just subract the I from V and you have 4 ;)

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  • You can only add if you put a lower number behind the higher number. If you put a lower number directly in front of a higher number, you subtract. VI = 6. IV =4. XI = 11, IX = 9.

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  • Play Final Fantasy 7 it will teach you Roman numerals.

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  • IV is 1 less than 5, VI is 1 more than 5, that is the difference. It isn't just 2 numbers being added.

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    • This is also how any Roman Numerals work. So XXV is 10, 10 after that, and 5 after that, Which is 25.
      Then VII is 2 after 5, 5+2=7. IIV is the opposite, which means 2 less than 5, which is 3, however that is wrong because 3 is displayed using 3 I's III

  • 4 is IV...

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