How is the slash (when it is used in English to connect non-contrasting items) verbalized in Russian?

I'm a native Russian speaker and nothing really comes to mind. «Тире» or «слеш», perhaps?

For example, how would one verbalize «кровать/диван»?

  • 1
    «кровать/диван» is a rather strange phrase. If you mean "кровать or диван", than you should explicitly say "или". If you mean a single item of furniture, it is "диван-кровать", and pronounced as "диван кровать", the dash is not pronounced.
    – Petr
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 6:20
  • Slash is not used in Russian to connect non-contrasting terms. In Russian, дефис (short dash) is used for this purpose, for example, already mentioned "диван-кровать". Or "курица-наседка", or "сапоги-скороходы" (the list can go on and on).
    – Alexander
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 18:39

4 Answers 4


when it is used in English to connect non-contrasting items

The slash is generally not used in Russian in those cases. «Кровать/диван» isn't likely to appear in a proper grammatical sentence. It may be used in some styles of writing (heavy bureaucratic), but you wouldn't normally verbalize them. (Ex. from gramota.ru: «Покупатель/производитель может потребовать выплаты компенсации...») If I had to, I'd read it as «или» or even as «и или» (as if written «и/или»). In any case, those phrases don't seem natural.

Specifically regarding «кровать/диван», there's the word «диван-кровать», which is what you probably meant, and in this case, it's pronounced «диван кровать». Otherwise, I can only imagine the words «кровать/диван» as a standalone form and not as part of a complete sentence, e.g. on a shopping list (when you're going to a furniture store and you know that you need a кровать or a диван), or on floorplan for an apartment (we'll put either a кровать or a диван in this corner, to be decided). In those cases, you wouldn't normally vocalize what's written as such, but in a pinch, I'd say «кровать или диван».

In everyday Russian, the slash is used in a very limited number of situations, such as compound numbers (read as «дробь»: дом 8/1 = «дом восемь дробь один»), some abbrevations (not pronounced: б/у = «бэ у» or «бывший в употреблении», р/с = «эр эс» or «расчетный счет») or in units (usually a full phrase is pronounced: км/ч = километров в час).

  • Диван-кровать is a specific piece of furniture (диван that can be transformed into кровать). It's different from the use mentioned by the OP (i.e. replacing "and or" as in your покупатель/производитель example). I see / used frequently in that way in written communication over internet (perhaps it's affected by the English usage) but it's not really present in the oral speech, where it's replaced (or the sentence restructured) with "и" and "или". In written form it's either not pronounced or replaced with the above where it makes sense.
    – Dan M.
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 14:47

It's дробь:

  • В доме восемь дробь один у заставы Ильича…

  • Маргинальная звезда его взошла ― года три назад ― столь же стремительно, сколь закатилась: свалил, пропал, замолчал, ушёл в запой дробь астрал.

  • Через час я покинул Специальный следственный изолятор номер один дробь один.

  • Это называется "косая черта", "дробь" для номеров лишь и т.п. - в математике, например. Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 14:52
  • Your examples have nothing to do with the question since that use is not «to connect non-contrasting items», see the link in the question.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 19:08
  • 1
    @YellowSky: isn't запой / астрал an example of just that? As for the house numbers and other identifiers, for which this punctuation is used overwhelmingly, it usually means that the building is on the corner of two streets and has prominent entries from either of them. Дом восемь дробь шестнадцать does not mean дом 0,5, it means "the building that has the number 8 on one street and the number 16 on another".
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 19:16
  • 1
    The OP has a link to the Wikipedia article that explains that use. In short, the question is about the case when “A/B” means “A or B or both”, e.g. “Do you keep animals/birds at home?” The fact is, this usage of the slash is practically not attested in Russian, and this is the answer.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 22:18
  1. Это типографский символ "косая черта". Нет, это не произносится "слеш" в русском языке, разве что на программистком жаргоне :>

Также :

"2.«дробь», или «черта дроби», — в номерах и индексах;

  1. «перечёрка», «перечёртка», «косая линейка» — устаревшие названия в типографике."

Косая черта

"Тире" - это совсем иной знак, разумеется. Тире

"For example: how would one pronounce «кровать/диван»?"

В зависимости от контекста. "Кровать или диван", "Кровать-диван".

Можно и (разговорно) - "кровать чёрта(чёрточка, тире) диван".


We pronounce it слеш. Having said that, it's not a natural punctuation for Russian, so its use is mostly borrowed.

People unfamiliar with this concept may pronounce it косая черта.

In modern Russian, the uses of the slash such as б/у or з/к aren't pronounced at all. "бэ-у", "зе-ка".

  • Your examples of б/у and з/к have nothing to do with the question since this use is not «to connect non-contrasting items».
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 9:36
  • I have no idea what's "connecting non-contrasting items".
    – alamar
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 18:43
  • The original poster means just one use of the slash, connecting non-contrasting items, which means the items on both sides of the slash are of the same kind, they're non-contrasting, with “A/B” meaning “A or B or both” like “Do you keep at home any animals/birds?”, “Do you need sweet things like sugar/jam”, etc., you could read about it in the Wiki article linked to in the question. Your examples of б/у and з/к are a way of contraction, there's no connecting there, that's another way the slash can be used and the question is not about it.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 18:57

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