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Why do we need numbers?

Numbers are used to describe the amount of things. We can express numbers in words, by hand gestures or in writing, using symbols or numerals. When we talk about a number  we use words (five) rather than the number (5), but when we write we use both words and numerals. Numbers can describe how many objects there are, or their position among lots of objects, for example, 1st or 5th.

Other types of numbers describe how many units of something there are, for example how many kilograms (weight) or metres (length). Numbers are just a convenient way of describing ideas.
Roman numerals are still used today for certain purposes. They appear on watch and clock faces and when numbers have a certain importance, such as in the title of a monarch.

– 1
II – 2
III – 3
IV – 4
V – 5
VI – 6
VII – 7
VIII – 8
IX – 9
X – 10
XX – 20
L – 50
C – 100
M – 1000 

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