We all know that algebra uses letters. But it is not the only type of Maths where letters or symbols are used. Think back to primary school, where you will probably have learned Roman numerals. Even today, Roman numerals are commonly used, and can often be seen above doorways in old buildings, showing when the building was built. Some watches and clock faces, like Big Ben, use Roman numerals.
Number symbols were actually in use before Rome was founded. A civilisation, known as the Etruscans were quite advanced, and contributed greatly to the Romans. They used “I”, “𐌡”, “𐌢”, and “𐌣” for “1”, “5”, “10”, and “50” respectively. They even used symbols for larger numbers, but it’s not really known which symbol represents which number.
Early Roman numerals for 1, 10 and 100 were the same as the Etruscan symbols, then gradually evolved over time.
It sounds more complicated than algebra!
Don’t struggle with algebra. To help you understand it more, try Part 2 of our “How to” Algebra guides. This section provides guidance on powers and roots, and explains how to expand single, double and triple brackets. There are example questions for you to try at the end of the power point, and answers are included so you can check your understanding.
Click on the picture below to view our guide.
Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects. Part 3 of our “How to work with Algebra” guide will be out next week, with support on factorising expressions.
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