There are three syntax conventions that you need to remember with IRC commands.
1. All IRC commands begin with the forward slash, "/". Anything else you type is considered text typed to the screen as normal conversation.
2. All channel names begin with a pound sign, "#". There is an exception here. Some channel names will begin with a "&", but those are few and far between and you may never see them in your travels on IRC.
3. IRC is not case sensitive. So you can use either upper, lower, or mixed case letters if you wish in your commands.