A slash is a punctuation in the English language. In this article you can learn about its functions.

What Is Slash In English Grammar?

What is a Slash?

A slash (/) is a punctuation that can be used to indicate a choice or alternative between two options or to show a relationship between two things. There are two kinds of slash: forward slash (/) and backslash (\).

How to Use Slash?

In general, you can use the slash without spaces. However, when it is used to separate lines of poetry, it is suggested to use a space either before, after, or both before and after slashes.

Forward Slash

A forward slash is simply called a slash most of the time, it can also be called a "stroke" or "oblique". Using slashes in formal writing is generally not recommended.

Where To Use Slash?

We can use a slash in different contexts, have a look at the following list:

  • Instead of 'or'
  • Instead of 'per'
  • In poetry
  • In abbreviations
  • In dates and fractions
  • To show conflict or connection
  • In a two-year range
  • In website addresses

Using slash to express dates and fractions

Instead of 'or'

We can use a slash to mean 'or', let's see some examples:

Each person must get his/her gift bag at the exit door.

We can get the best prize if/when the whole crew arrives.

You should take a sleeping bag and/or an extra blanket for camping.

It is better to avoid using 'and/or' and instead use 'both' at the end, as in 'sleeping bag, an extra blanket, or both'.

Instead of 'per'

We can use a slash to mean per'. Have a look at the following examples:

The salary here is $4000/month.

The car goes 300km/hr.

In Poetry

The slash is commonly used in poetry to separate the lines. It is often used when two or three lines of poetry run into a text. When there are more than three lines, it is common to write the text as a block quotation.

Some say the world will end in fire/ Some say in ice/ From what I've tasted of desire/ I hold with those who favour fire.

Robert frost-fire & ice

In Abbreviations

There are some abbreviations that can form with a slash. For example:






care of



In Dates and Fractions

We can use slash in dates and fractions. Let's have a look at the examples:

1/2 (one half)


9/10 (nine tenth)


She was born on 12/03/1997


On credit cards: Expiration date 10/19 (October 2019)


Show Conflict or Connection

The slash can be used to denote a conflict or connection between two things. The en dash can be used for this purpose too.

The New York/Boston bus leaves soon.

The Beijing/London flight has been cancelled.

In a Two-year Range

The slash can be used to indicate a time span of two years. For example:

We can never forget the tragedy of 1994/95.

2020/21 was really hard for me.

In Website Addresses

The slash can be used to separate the website address (URL), and to separate folders on some computer systems.



A backslash is not really considered punctuation in the English language and should not be mistaken for a slash or forward slash. The backslash is usually used in computer coding and programming languages.


Loading recaptcha

You might also like

Hyphens and Dashes

Hyphens and dashes have to be used properly as punctuation marks to avoid confusion. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Brackets, Braces, and Parentheses

Actually, there are four different types of brackets. In this lesson, we will study all the rules about these punctuation marks.


An apostrophe is a punctuation mark used on many occasions in English. Its meaning is dependent on the context it is used in.


Capitalization is to write the first letter of a word in uppercase. In this lesson, you will learn all the rules about this subject.


You might wonder what the difference between formal and informal styles is. One of the elements that can make your writings informal is using contractions.


When sentences are used together and they are linked to each other, they can finally form paragraphs. In this lesson, we will learn about them.

Download LanGeek app