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Punctuation marks
Comma, comma ,
Semicolon, semicolon ;
Colon, colon :
Point .
Ellipsis ...
Focus ·
bullet point
Question mark ?
Exclamation, exclamation, call signs !
Apostrophe, apostrophe '
- - Hyphen ; Hyphen ;
Supplementary line
Indent ; Up line -
quotation marks"" »«  /  «»
‚'› ‹  /  ‹ › 
Slashes / \
Brackets () []

The slash "/" (formally solidus , English slash ) is a character that can be used as a punctuation or word mark to express relationships and relationships (divided characters ). He finds u. a. in mathematics and in many programming languages extensive application.


DIN 5008 regulates the slash as a word mark for "and", "or", "or", "pro" or "each" (examples: "heating / ancillary costs", "1500 inhabitants / km²" ) and for the summary of Numbers and words (example: "Semester 2017/18" ) that no space is written before and after the slash. When combining groups of words, a space may be written before and after the slash (example: "End of January / beginning of February" ). As a result, the regulations in the Duden are the same.

According to the spelling instructions of the Swiss Federal Chancellery for official federal texts, a space is placed before and after the slash if the individual words do not form a meaning unit (example: "Computer / Notebooks / Tablets"; this case offers the only deviation from the rules of DIN 5008 and des Dudens) or with multi-part names (example: "Peter Zbinden / Jürg Moser" ). However, if the individual words form a unit of meaning, the slash is used without spaces, for example " Biel / Bienne ". The same applies if the slash is used as a fraction or ratio line: "2/5" or "50 km / h".

Word processing programs and web browsers do not automatically break lines after a slash that is not followed by a space . If such a line break is desired in individual cases (in order to avoid too great differences in line lengths in the case of flutter and too large gaps between words in justification ), setting the invisible word separator without width ( ​) after a slash can help.

If there is a space before and after the slash, the space before the slash should be a protected space (this is also the rule in DIN 5008).


Slash to identify the connection

The slash can be used to describe "several (alternative) options in the sense of a connection with and, or, or, to or the like", for example: the Leipzig / Halle region; the Becker / Stich duo; the students in the 2014/2015 school year.

Slash as an outline symbol

The slash can be used to "structure addresses, telephone numbers, file numbers, invoice numbers, dictation marks and the like". The previously common way of highlighting the area code with a slash for telephone numbers is now out of date; DIN 5008 provides for a space here; a hyphen is also used.

Slash as a fraction

The slash can be used to “indicate the ratio of numbers or sizes in the sense of a connection with per / per”, for example: 3/4 , km / h , inhabitant / km² .

In logistics, when a shipment consists of several - possibly different - pieces ( colli ), these are often numbered by hand and placed behind a slash in relation to the total number of pieces . In the USA in particular, the hash # is placed in front of it as a number sign : The second piece of a total of five is marked # 2/5 , pronounced: number 2 of 5 .

Slash in statistical tables

According to DIN 55301 (design of statistical tables), the slash stands for “no information, since numerical value is not certain enough” as a value-substituting symbol (in contrast to value-supplementing symbols, including quality indicators ). This is exactly how the symbol is used in tables of official statistics .

Slash as punctuation mark

Until around 1730 the slash was used in place of the comma , see Virgel . In the 19th century, in handwritten texts such as letters, a combination of slash and colon was used to represent brackets /: as in this example: /.

Today, the slash is only used as a punctuation mark to separate verses in the running text (for example in poems). In this case, a space (quarter-square) must be used before and after the slash.

Slash as a diacritical mark

A slash as a diacritical mark is used to identify a particular pronunciation of a letter, for example in " Ø " ( Øor Ø), "ø" ( øor ø) in Danish or in " Ł " ( Ł), "ł" ( ł) in Polish , Sorbian and the Latin script in Belarusian ( Łacinka ).

In cursive and non-proportional fonts , a slash in the number 0 can make it easier to distinguish it from the letter O. Alternatively, there is sometimes a point inside the 0.

Slash in dates

In some languages ​​such as English, Portuguese, Spanish, Hungarian etc. a. if you use the slash in purely numerical dates, z. B. the dateDecember 31, 2004 in Portuguese as 31/12/2004 written.

In German, the slash is used when only month or quarter and year are given: 5/2004 (May 2004), II / 2004 (February or second quarter of 2004).

The date formats are internationally standardized today through the recommendations of the ISO 8601 standard , for Germany through the recommendations of DIN ISO 8601 adopted in 2006. There, however, the slash is not recommended as part of numeric dates, but only to separate the dates in periods according to the pattern from / to . The date format recommended internationally in the standard, however, follows the pattern2004-12-31.

Slash in music

The slash is often used in sheet music editions of popular music (which do not note the instrumental accompaniment and are therefore useful for both guitarists and pianists) to give a chord a different bass note than the root note. For example, C / E means that C major should be played over the note E; Advanced music theory knowledge is not required to understand this notation.

Slash in court language

In connection with two dots, the slash means "against". For example, “Karl Schröder ./. Fritz Meier ”in a complaint synonymous with“ Karl Schröder versus Fritz Meier ”.

Use in mathematics, physics and computer science

The slash is used in mathematics and in many programming languages ​​as a symbol for division.

The double slash //is used, among others, in C ++ , C (from C99), Java and Pascal as a comment character that is valid until the end of the line.

In the Occam programming language , the characters for logical and / \ and logical or \ / were formed from the slash and the backslash .

Under Unix-like operating systems ( BSD , GNU / Linux , Mac OS X , etc.) the slash is used as a separator for path information. It also designates the root directory , which is the highest directory in a system or on a data carrier (example: path specification /home/username/Documents).

In mathematical group theory , the factor group is marked with a slash , e.g. G / N.

Use in physics

In the quantum field theory is Feynman slash notation used, the said corresponding Einstein summation convention about to be summed from 0 to 3 and the Dirac matrices are.

Representation of house numbers in cartography

The slash is used in cartography for the generalized representation of consecutive even or odd house numbers in the system of reciprocal numbering that is most commonly used in Germany, e.g. B. 2/6 = 2,4,6 or 17/25 = 17,19,21,23,25.

Slash in the IPA

In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) the character “/” has the number 913. It denotes the beginning or the end of a phonemic transcription.

Slash in local public transport

Line 30 of the Rome tram with a line through it , shown with a slash after it

In the local public transport of certain cities, a slash before or after the line number is used to identify so-called crossed lines . This is especially true in older matrix or flip dot displays , which are actually meant strikethrough line number because of their coarse resolution can not display.

Other languages

In English and Spanish, the slash is sometimes used unofficially to abbreviate words ( N / A for not available , not applicable or no answer , w / for with, w / o for without, c / for con or calle, s / for sin).

Representation in computer systems

In the ASCII character set, the slash is in position 47 (or 2F hexadecimal ).

As a character entity in HTML or XML , the character can be encoded with /or /.

Unicode contains several variants of the forward slash.

character designation Unicode code point
/ SOLIDUS U + 002F


The backslash "\" ( backslash ) is generally rarely used as a character. In technical language formulations of logical or mathematical expressions, it stands as a symbol for the relative complement . In data processing, however, it is widely used, for example as a separator between several levels of a file directory structure in DOS and Windows systems, as the start of an escape sequence , as the first character of a TeX command or as a continuation character at the end of a line.


  • C: \ Documents \ Law \ Contract.txt
  • \ chapter {introduction}

See also


  • Gloria Meynen: / [over the slash]. In: Helga Lutz, Nils Plath, Dietmar Schmidt (eds.): Punctuation marks. Scenes of writing (Festschrift for Bettine Menke ). Kadmos, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-86599-364-9 , pp. 143-147.

Web links

Wiktionary: slash  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b DIN 5008 : 2020-03 Writing and design rules for text and information processing , section 9.6 slash .
  2. forward slash. In: Bibliographical Institute , accessed February 22, 2020 .
  3. a b c § 106 of the official regulation of German spelling
  4. Guidelines for the design of statistical tables for network programming, Working Group Publications of the State Statistical Offices, Wiesbaden 1997, 41 pages, here: page 36.
  5. GENESIS-Online database: Explanation of symbols