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Roman Numerals

Roman Numerals

This article provides a simple explanation of Roman numerals and a handy Roman numerals chart to 1,000. We will also explain how to convert Roman numerals with plenty of examples and offer an online Roman numeral converter for extra practice.

What are Roman numerals?

Roman numerals are a set of seven letters, originally used by ancient Romans, to represent numbers.

The Roman numeral system uses different combinations of the letters I, V, X, L, C, D and M to represent all numbers.

These days, the most familiar place to find Roman numerals is on clocks or watches. However, they are also used when referring to the kings and queens, e.g., Queen Elizabeth II or Henry VIII.

Clock face in train station that uses Roman numerals
Clock face using Roman numerals

What are the Roman numerals?

Roman Numeral I V X L C D M
Decimal Number 1 5 10 50 100 500 1000

By combining Roman numerals, other numbers can be created. For example:

Roman Numeral Decimal Number
III 3
LV 55
LXVI 66

If a smaller value appears before a larger value, the smaller value is subtracted. If a smaller value appears after a larger value, the two are added.

Numbers are represented in order from the largest value to smallest, i.e. thousands, hundreds, tens and lastly units. Only three identical letters can be used consecutively. Hence, the number 8 is represented using VIII, whereas the number nine is represented using IX.

Here is a really useful and short video to help children remember Roman numerals and how they're combined to create larger numbers:

More Examples of Roman Numerals

Roman Numeral Decimal Number
XIX 19
XLIV 44
XCIX 99

Roman Numerals Chart

Below is a chart of all Roman numerals up to 1000:

Number Roman Numeral Number Roman Numeral Number Roman Numeral Number Roman Numeral
1 I 11 XI 30 XXX 400 CD
2 II 12 XII 40 XL 500 D
3 III 13 XIII 50 L 600 DC
4 IV 14 XIV 60 LX 700 DCC
5 V 15 XV 70 LXX 800 DCCC
6 VI 16 XVI 80 LXXX 900 CM
7 VII 17 XVII 90 XC 1000 M
8 VIII 18 XVIII 100 C
9 IX 19 XIX 200 CC
10 X 20 XX 300 CCC

Converting numbers and Roman numerals

Here’s how to convert numbers into Roman numerals:

  1. Partition the number into thousands, hundreds, tens and units.
  2. Find the correct Roman numeral(s) for each value
  3. Combine them the Roman numerals together.

Converting numbers into Roman numerals examples

Number Thousands Hundreds Tens Units
2672 2000 600 70 2
MM DC LXX II

2672 = MMDCLXXII

Number Thousands Hundreds Tens Units
1946 1000 900 40 6
M CM XL VI

1946 = MCMXLVI

Converting Roman numerals to numbers

Here’s how to convert Roman numerals into numbers:

  1. Partition the Roman numerals into thousands, hundreds, tens and units.
  2. Find the value of each group of letters.
  3. Recombine the numbers.
Roman Numeral Thousands Hundreds Tens Units
MMMDCLXXIII MMM DC LXX III
3000 600 70 3

MMMDCXXIII = 3673

Roman Numeral Thousands Hundreds Tens Units
MMCMXCV MM CM XC V
2000 900 90 5

MMCMXCV = 2995

Roman Numeral Converter

To help you ensure you get plenty of practice with converting Roman numerals, we have a handy online Roman numeral converter for you below. Just enter the Roman numeral or decimal that you would like to convert and it will instantly do all the hard work for you!

Roman Numeral & Decimal Conversion Tool

What is the letter M in Roman numerals?

In Roman numerals, the letter M represents the number 1000.

What is the number 50 in Roman numerals?

The number 50 in Roman numerals is represented by the letter L alone.

Key Points

  • The seven Roman numeral symbols are I, V, X, L, C, D and M.
  • Numbers are represented using a combination of letters.
  • There is no place value or zero in Roman numerals.
  • Smaller valued numerals after a larger one = Add.
  • Smaller valued numeral before a larger one = Subtract.