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Slash

slashslashes

The slash (/) is also known as: forward slash, stroke, oblique. You should use the slash with care in formal writing.

1. A slash is often used to indicate "or":

  • Dear Sir/Madam (Sir or Madam)
  • Please press your browser's Refresh/Reload button. (Refresh or Reload)
  • The speech will be given by President/Senator Clinton. (President Clinton or Senator Clinton)
  • Mary will eat cake and/or fruit. (Mary will eat cake, or Mary will eat fruit, or Mary will eat cake and fruit.)

Do not over-use the slash to indicate "or". It can suggest laziness on the part of the writer. The "and/or" construction is widely considered to be very bad form.

2. Use a slash for fractions:

  • 1/2 (one half)
  • 2/3 (two thirds)
  • 9/10 (nine tenths)

3. Use a slash to indicate "per" in measurements of speed, prices etc:

  • The speed limit is 100 km/h. (kilometres per hour)
  • He can type at 75 w/m. (words per minute)
  • The eggs cost $3/dozen. ($3 per dozen)
  • They charge €1.50/litre for petrol. (€1.50 per litre)

4. People often use a slash in certain abbreviations:

  • This is my a/c number. (account)
  • John Brown, c/o Jane Green (care of)
  • n/a (not applicable, not available)
  • w/o (without)

5. A slash is often used in dates to separate day, month and year:

  • On credit card: Expires end 10/15 (October 2015)
  • He was born on 30/11/2007. (30th November 2007 - BrE)
  • It was invented on 11/30/2007. (November 30th, 2007 - AmE)

6. The slash is used to separate parts of a website address (url) on the Internet, and to separate folders on some computer systems:

  • http://www.englishclub.com/writing/punctuation-slash.htm
  • file:///Users/mac/tara/photos/image.jpg

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