These elements must be used only to mark up typographical
conventions with specific meanings, not for typographical
presentation for presentation's sake. For example, it would be
inappropriate for the sub and sup elements
to be used in the name of the LaTeX document preparation system. In
general, authors should use these elements only if the
absence of those elements would change the meaning of the
content.

In certain languages, superscripts are part of the typographical
conventions for some abbreviations.

<p>The most beautiful women are
<span lang="fr"><abbr>M<sup>lle</sup></abbr> Gwendoline</span> and
<span lang="fr"><abbr>M<sup>me</sup></abbr> Denise</span>.</p>

The sub element can be used inside a
var element, for variables that have subscripts.

Here, the sub element is used to represents the
subscript that identifies the variable in a family of
variables:

<p>The coordinate of the <var>i</var>th point is
(<var>x<sub><var>i</var></sub></var>, <var>y<sub><var>i</var></sub></var>).
For example, the 10th point has coordinate
(<var>x<sub>10</sub></var>, <var>y<sub>10</sub></var>).</p>

Mathematical expressions often use subscripts and superscripts.
Authors are encouraged to use MathML for marking up mathematics, but
authors may opt to use sub and sup if
detailed mathematical markup is not desired. [MATHML]