The Slash

• Use the slash to separate two or three lines of poetry that have been inserted into your writing. Add a space before and after the slash.

One of my favorite Shakespearean sonnets begins, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments."

Note: Use a block quotation (as in Andrew Marvell's poem above) set off from the text for quoting more than three lines of poetry.

• The slash may be used to separate paired words such as pass/fail. Do not use a space before or after the slash. Avoid the use of and/or, he/she, and his/her in formal writing.


All complete sentences consist of independent clauses, with or without subordinate clauses or phrases or other constructions that add information and meaning to the sentence. A clause has a subject and a verb. The following is a clause.

The boys waited for the bus.

The above group of words contains a subject, boys, and a verb, waited. In addition, it can stand alone as a complete thought.

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