I always get confused with use of slash.

Hello Gary and Stephen, 
Hello Gary\Stephen, 
Hello Gary/Stephen,

which one is acceptable?

2 Answers 2


The context will be important. Do you want to address both Garry and Stephan ? If yes, then it will be:

Hello Gary and Stephen,

Do you want to address either one of them ? Then it will be a forward slash (/) as in :

Hello Gary/Stephen.....

meaning hello Garry or Stephan

Forward slash (/) is used in the cases to mean 'or' whereas backslash ( \ ) is used in computer programs generally.

  • I would add that Hello Gary/Stephen is much more informal than Hello Gary and Stephen
    – divided
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 17:50
  • Yes of course, you don't write that in formal letters. I just used the example the OP had given.
    – Spectra
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 17:55

The forward slash (/) is the most common slash used in written English. The backward slash (\) is much more likely to be seen in articles related to computing, or to programming languages.

As can be read in the following article (How to use a slash), the forward slash can be used for several different things in written English. Perhaps most commonly, it is used to mean either 'or', or 'and'. Whether the writer means 'or' or 'and' is usually determined from the context of what is written.For example:

I am expecting a call from my bank, so if someone calls while I am out, take his/her number and tell him/her I will call back.

In this case, only one person will be calling. I don't know if the caller will be male or female but there will only be one person calling, so 'his/her' means 'his or her' and 'him/her' means 'him or her'.

Kelly is a famous singer/songwriter.

In this case we mean that Kelly is famous as both a singer and a songwriter, so 'singer/songwriter' means 'singer and songwriter'. This is the same way that you used it when you said, 'Hello Gary/Stephen,'.

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