English grammar

Module 13, Additional Punctuation, Lesson 8:

The Slash (Virgule)

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English grammar

Definition: A slash or virgule (/) in writing is the forward slash. It has several conventional uses. There are no spaces on either side of the slash except when dividing lines of poetry.

Poetry

If a poem is cited in paragraph form without line breaks, slashes are inserted between the lines. This should be limited to four or five lines only. If you write out more than five lines of a poem, it's better to write them with line breaks.

The last stanza of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Crossing the Bar" is "For though from out our bourne of Time and Place / The flood may bear me far, / I hope to see my Pilot face to face / When I have crossed the bar."

Dates

Slashes can be used to divide elements of a date in informal writing.

Her daughter was born on 7/3/86.
This date stands for July 3, 1986 in the US and March 7, 1986 in most other parts of the world.

Fractions and Ratios

1/2 or 3/4 (Note: Most computers will change fractions to a smaller font.)
10 miles/hour = 10 miles per hour

And/or and Similar Combinations

Often a slash means and/or, but using a slash this way is not appropriate in formal writing. Most style manuals recommend avoiding and/or, he/she, and his/her.

We received the June/July issue by the end of May.
The winner will receive a savings bond, but he/she will have to save it for at least six months before spending it.
I generally order the soup/salad combo at that restaurant.

Abbreviations

Use these abbreviations for informal writing only:

Care of = c/o (This is most often used as a postal abbreviation.)
With = w/
Without = w/o

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar
Directions:
Insert one or more slashes (virgules) in each of the following sentences by clicking the space(s) between the appropriate words or numbers.
1.
Each / student / is / to / do / his / her / best / on / the / test.
2.
His / title / was / announced / as / the / President / Chief / Financial / Officer / for / the / company.
3.
The / conference / dealt / with / parent / child / issues.
4.
The / poem / began: / "Listen / my / children / and / you / shall / hear / Of / the / midnight / ride / of / Paul / Revere …"
5.
The / teacher / wrote / the / following / date / on / the / board: / 10 / 21 / 1936.
6.
Are / you / clear / on / sit / set / usage?
7.
She / wore / many / hats / as / the / company / Receptionist / Secretary / Treasurer.
8.
Each / teacher / enjoys / his / her / own / account.
9.
They / were / discussing / boy / girl / relationships.
10.
In / her / poem / engraved / at / the / Statue / of / Liberty, / Emma / Lazarus / wrote: / "… Give / me / your / tired, / your / poor, / Your / huddled / masses / yearning / to / breathe / free …"
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