There are two types of slashes that you might find on your computer keyboard. What do they mean? When should we use them?
This article will illuminate all.
The two types of slashes are backslashes \ and forward slashes /.
Backslashes are used primarily in computer coding, so you don't need to worry about them for grammar. Forward slashes, on the other hand, are punctuation marks used in grammar.
Here's how they are used:
To Separate Lines in Poems, Songs, Or Plays
Forward slashes can be used to show line breaks in poems, songs, or plays.
Here's an example:
- But soft / What light through yonder window breaks
These types of slashes are typically used if several short lines are written together on one long line.
To Indicate "Or"
The forward slash can also be used to show "or" in a sentence. For example:
- The waiter noticed that a patron had left his/her phone on the table.
The "/" in this case indicates that the phone belongs to either a man or a woman.
Forward slashes can used in abbreviations such as "w/o" to shorten words like "without".
Here are some other examples of using forward slashes in abbreviations:
- care of = c/o
- air conditioning = a/c
To Indicate a Debate
Forward slashes can also be used to show a correlation between both sides in a debate:
- There are many strong opinions on both sides of the pro-choice/pro-life debate.
In a Date
You'll commonly see forward slashes used in dates:
- My birthday is 07/20/1990.