Why does 4 – 5 equal 1?

Riddle:  Why does 4 – 5 equal 1? I give you 5 minutes to find the answer.


The first thing that comes to mind after reading this riddle is that the question makes no sense. You just go like “4-5 does not equal 1 in the first place so why does this person ask me the reason for this equaling to 1?” However, you need to shift your point of view. There are numbers that we use on a daily basis or at least used to use when we were taking algebra lessons in highschool…


Anyways, but when we think in terms of Roman numerals and write the numbers 4 and 5 as Roman numerals which are IV and V, consecutively. So when you subtract those “shapes” you are left with I, aren’t you?


Answer:  Because: IV – V = I (4 – 5 = 1)

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