Slashes (/) are used to show options or to indicate that two words are interchangeable. Slashes are also used to mark the end of a line of poetry in a paragraph and in other specific instances.

When to use a slash

  1. Between options
    Use a slash, with no space before or after, to indicate that either of the two terms may apply.
    • Jason was present at his parent/teacher conference.
    • This course will be graded on a pass/fail basis. 
    • The employee should wear his/her proper uniform at all times.
  2. When quoting poetry
    Use a slash to indicate the end of a line of poetry when you quote two or three lines within a paragraph. If the quotation is longer than three lines, indent it, omit the quotation marks, and single space each line of the poem. Put a space before and after the slash.
    • One of my favorite passages comes from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay entitled Renascence: "The world stands out on either side / No wider than the heart is wide." 
  3. For abbreviations, prices, and fractions
    Use a slash between letters in some abbreviations and in informal expressions of unit prices and fractions.
    • c/o (in care of)
    • v/r (very respectfully) 
    • $10.00/hour ($10.00 per hour)
    • 1/2 (one–half)