You are likely to have seen the punctuation mark, the forward slash used on many occasions, however, it can be a little tricky to fully understand when it is supposed to be used. The forward slash may appear to have many functions and this can make for even more confusion. In this article, we are going to take a look at the meaning of the forward slash as well as looking at some examples of when it should be used. By doing this, we will gain a better understanding of its function within the English language.
What Is a Forward Slash?
The forward slash is a line, which slopes to the right as you are looking at it. It is used to separate words, letters or numbers within written work. It can be frequently seen as part of a website address, for which it is well known. The use of the forward slash in website addressed is probably one of it’s most common functions. However, when used within writing, the forward slash serves to separate words within written text that do not require the use of a full stop. In this instance, there should be a space after the forward slash, but in other writing uses, space would not be required after the use of the forward slash.
The forward slash can also be used as a replacement for the word ‘or’ when used in a written context. It can serve to assist in the formation of abbreviations to make the text shorter and can also be used to denote conflicting or connecting relationships within the written text.
In a numerical sense, the forward slash can be used to show a fraction such as 1/2 or 1/4.
Learn more why does Windows use Backslashes for directories?
How to Use a Forward Slash
We will now take a look at a few examples for each of the uses of the forward slash.
For Use in Website Addresses
For Use in Writing
- Twinkle twinkle little star/ how we wonder what you are/ up above this world up high/ like the diamond in the sky.
- The mercy’s quality is not in strain/ it comes as gently as the rain/ to the place below. It is blessed two times/ it blesses those who take and those who give.
- When I left the train station, I saw that someone had forgotten his/her bicycle.
- For extra sleeping space, you should bring a camp bed and/or an airbed.
- We will go to the cinema if/when the film ever gets made.
- I am happy to take the train or the plane, either/or is a good option.
- w/out- which means without
- w/- which means with
- a/c- which means air conditioning.
- I have a spare room in my house which I use as a yoga studio/guest room.
- The protesters were debating with the company about the hiring/firing of employees in recent times.
- I have a jacket which I use as a leisure/hobby coat.
- The person on the website told me that they liked snooker, he/she also said they were very good at it.
- We can use either/or of the bags for the shopping trip.
- My lady’s eyes are not like the sun/ the coral is more red than her lips/ the snow is white and her breasts are like so/ hair is like wire and black wire in upon her head. (from Shakespeare’s sonnet 130)
- At the party, it is essential that every man/woman has a date.
- You must bring a tablet/smartphone to the event to record any relevant data.
- The new business venture is going to be amazing, the Claire/Andrew empire is about to explode on a global scale.
- If we want to get there quickly, we should take the London/Kent route.
For Use in Numeracy
As we have seen, the forward slash has various uses within the English language. By looking at examples of how it functions, we are able to more easily understand where and how it can be used.
The forward slash finds use within website addresses, which is a very common function of the punctuation mark, as well as finding use within poetry and other types of writing, and being used in a numerical context to denote a written fraction.
Forward Slash Infographic