3.3 Inline semantics

The small parts within a block of text

While paragraphs and lists are meant to identify whole blocks of text, we sometimes want to provide meaning to a word (or a few words) within a text.

Strong

For important words, use the <strong> tag:

<p>
  This is <strong>important</strong> but this is not.
</p>

This is important but this is not.

By default, <strong> elements are displayed in bold, but keep in mind that it is only the browser’s default behavior. Don’t use <strong> only to put some text in bold, but rather to give it more importance.

Emphasis

For emphasized words, use the <em> tag:

<p>
  This is <em>emphasized</em> but this is not.
</p>

This is emphasized but this is not.

By default, <em> elements are displayed in italic, but keep in mind that it is only the browser’s default behavior. Don’t use <em> only to put some text in italic, but rather to give it stress emphasis.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations like W3C or CD can use the <abbr> element:

<p>
  I just bought a <abbr>CD</abbr>.
</p>

You can add a title attribute to specify the abbreviation’s description, which will appear by hovering the element:

<p>
  I just bought a <abbr title="Compact Disc">CD</abbr>.
</p>

I just bought a CD.

Inline quotes

The <blockquote> element is a block-level element. It has an inline version: <q>:

<p>
  He said <q>“Hello World”</q> and just left.
</p>

He said “Hello World” and just left.

Other inline elements

There are plenty of other inline semantic elements to choose from, but we’ve covered the most common ones.

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