Quick Grammar

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What are Slashes? 

Slashes can be of two types: a forward slash (/) and a backslash (\). The forward slash - also called a slash -  is a common English punctuation mark, whereas the backslash finds predominant use in computer coding. Commas can only be used after a slash when breaks between lines of songs, poetry or plays are needed.

What Does / Mean Between Words?


Forward slashes can take different meanings depending on their contextual use in a text. 
To Separate Lines in Prose
Slashes can be used to show line breaks in songs, poems, plays, etc. if there are several short lines on one long line. E.g.
Paul loves running/ running, running/ Paul loves running/ every other day.
When you help the poor and downtrodden/ you help a soul in dire need/ thereupon is joy/ overflowing from the bottom of the heart/ a blesseth action indeed.
Don't forget to give a space beginning the next word.

To Indicate 
In informal and formal writing, the common meaning of the slash is or. Examples of this use are given below:
Nobody should leave his/her phone in the bag.
Whether he comes/fails to show up, he will face disciplinary action. 
They are required to come with a calculator and/or pen to the examination hall.

To Form Abbreviations
Slashes are also used for shortened forms of phrase and words or abbreviations. However, this should not be adopted in formal writing. 
s/o = shout out n/a = not available, not applicable or no answer. 

When slashes are used in this way, no space is required after the slash.


To Indicate Connecting and Conflicting Relationships
The punctuation also comes in handy when inferring a connection, link or conflict between terms or phrases. The following are some examples:
He likes to eat dessert/fruits before having a meal.
The ruling party/main opposition candidates are in a heated saga.


To Denote Dates and Fractions
The most common use of slashes is arguably in indicating fractions and dates. For example:
¼ 
½
01/03/10

Space Before and After Slash
A slight concern might be whether spaces should be used before or after a slash. In either case, the clear answer is a huge no. Always make sure to avoid spaces when using the slash. As stated earlier, the only time you should consider using a space is when indicating a line break for poems, plays or songs. 

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