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I know that commonly, the roman numerals are used to refer to a date or, more precisely, to a specific century, like in the examples below:

  • Aconteceu no século XX;
  • Um dos livros mais importantes do século XVIII;

I'd like to know if there is some rule to use this type of number in portuguese. Should they just be used to talk about a century or is this just a convention?

Can I use it to say something like "Eu tenho X anos" or not?

3
  • 1
    'Talk', na última linha, está incorreto. Sugiro a substituição por 'say', por exemplo.
    – Git Gud
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 17:18
  • @BrunoLopes Eu tentei, mas a edição era demasiado pequena para ser permitida pelo sistema. Não tive paciência para contornar isto.
    – Git Gud
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 17:50
  • It's just like English. No difference.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 15:48

2 Answers 2

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I'd like to know if there is some rule to use this type of number in portuguese. They are only allowed to talk about a century or this is just a convention?

Yes, there's a rule. Usually, roman numerals are used for:

  • Centuries;
  • King/Pope Names;
  • Parts of a book or written piece, like a play script;

Additionally, the spoken rule is:

  • Until the tenth numeral, is an ordinal numeral:

    No capítulo II (capítulo segundo), estudamos fonema e letra.

  • After the tenth numeral, is a cardinal numeral:

    O volume XII (volume doze) desta coleção traz biografias de pintores.

Exception: if numeral comes before the substantive, is spoken always as an ordinal number:

O XI capítulo (décimo primeiro capítulo) pareceu-me mais longo.

Can I use it to talk something like Eu tenho X anos. Or not?

No, for this case it is wrong.

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  • 4
    Em vez de "Exception: if numeral comes before the substantive, is spoken always as a cardinal number: O XI capítulo (décimo primeiro capítulo) pareceu-me mais longo." deve ser: "Exception: if numeral comes before the substantive, is spoken always as an ordinal number: O XI capítulo (décimo primeiro capítulo) pareceu-me mais longo." Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 23:23
  • 1
    @AméricoTavares Obrigado! Confundi na hora de escrever. Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 23:30
  • 1
    Não é regra. São costumes.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 15:49
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No.

See this link:

It should be used to refer to

  • Centuries, like "As grandes navegações ocorreram nos séculos XV e XVI."
  • Book or films chapters, volumes, parts or some other division, like "Veja mais informações no Capítulo V." or "Episódio VI: O retorno de Jedi".
  • Popes, kings and emperor names, like "O papa Bento XVI renunciou.", or "O imperador Dom Pedro II governou o Brasil por 49 anos."

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