Abbreviations are shorthand ways of writing words or phrases. They can come in handy when taking notes, filling out forms with small boxes, or just to save time in informal writing.
Today, we’re looking at the correct with/without abbreviation in the English language.
The most common abbreviation for with is to write a W plus a backslash. Typically, it doesn’t matter whether you use a lowercase or uppercase W, but most people use just a lowercase W.
Here’s what it looks like: w/
In internet chats and texting, it’s also common to see people write the abbreviation without a backslash. Punctuation rules are lax in these settings.
You might receive a text that says, “Do u want 2 g 2 the mall w me?” In addition to the other text abbreviations, using just a lowercase W means “with.”
W/ Abbreviation Uses
Many people will use w/ when they are taking notes, whether in school, in a meeting or conference, or somewhere else. Using shorthand like this makes note taking much faster.
It’s also common to see the abbreviation w/ in real estate or housing descriptions. Many descriptions of properties for sale or rent have limited characters, so they use abbreviations: “house w/ 2-car garage.”
You might see the abbreviation for with on official forms or tables of research data that have a limited number of characters. It’s also common in informal communication as well as quick business communications.
Note that the medical field does not use w/ as the abbreviation for with. Instead, they use a lowercase C with a line over it, called an overstrike. This stems from the Latin word for with, “cum.”
There are also abbreviations for the closely related word, without. While somewhat less common than with, without is still a frequently used preposition.
When you need to shorten without, the most common way to do so is with a W plus a backslash plus an O. Usually, the W and O are lowercase when you abbreviate without.
Here’s what it looks like: w/o
Unlike with, it’s not common to leave out the backslash when you abbreviate without, even in internet slang and texting shorthand.
The medical abbreviation for without is different, however. It’s common to see doctors write a lowercase S with a bar on top, which comes from the Latin, “sine.” However, this abbreviation is less standard, and some medical professionals will use w/o.
W/o Abbreviation Uses
You’ll use the form w/o for many of the same reasons as you would use w/. It’s great for quick, informal communication, note taking, and space saving.
Let’s check out some example sentences including w/o:
- I would like to adopt the brown dog w/o spots.
- The room for rent comes w/o central heating, but there is a window unit and a space heater.
- The client approved the design w/o the tagline in the logo.
- I want to understand the facts w/o your opinion on them, first.
Acronyms and abbreviations are great for informal writing, but it’s better to use the full form of with and without in formal writing.
Using too many abbreviations and acronyms can make your writing confusing. Use ProWritingAid’s Acronyms report to highlight any acronyms so you can explain or eliminate them to make your writing clear.