Let’s take 2 examples and what is the result for each of them
<br> will result in a new line
but what if you actually want to output the characters
<br> without being converted / interpreted by browser as a tag? Well, then you’ll use special characters:
& lt; br & gt; (without spaces) will result in <br> not in a new line.
Some characters are reserved in HTML. If you use the less than (<) or greater than (>) signs in your text, the browser might mix them with tags.
Character entities are used to display reserved characters in HTML.
So you use them only if you want to force the browser not to interpret them as a HTML tag, but as a character instead.
Hope this helps,