In this tutorial, we will look at how to compare two strings for equality in R with the help of some examples.
How do you compare two strings in R?
You can use the equality operator
== to compare two strings in R. It performs a case-sensitive equality check. The following is the syntax –
# compare string s1 and s2 for equality s1 == s2
TRUE if both strings are equal and
FALSE if they are not equal.
To compare strings irrespective of their case, either convert both the strings to lowercase or uppercase before checking for equality.
Let’s now look at some examples of comparing two strings in R.
1. Compare two strings for equality
Let’s create some strings and compare them for equality using the
# create strings s1 <- "Hello" s2 <- "Hello" s3 <- "hello" # compare strings print(s1 == s2) print(s1 == s3)
 TRUE  FALSE
Here, we create three strings s1, s2, and s3. We get
s1 == s2 because both the strings are the same. Whereas we get
s1 == s3, this is because even though both strings contain the same alphabets, the cases are different and thus in a case-sensitive check for equality both strings are considered unequal.
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2. Compare two strings for equality irrespective of the case
To compare strings irrespective of their case, either convert both the strings to lowercase or uppercase before checking for equality using the
== operator. This will mitigate any differences arising due to differences in case.
Let’s look at an example.
# create strings s1 <- "Hello" s2 <- "Hello" s3 <- "hello" # compare strings print(tolower(s1) == tolower(s2)) print(tolower(s1) == tolower(s3))
 TRUE  TRUE
Here, we use the same strings as above, s1, s2, and s3 but this time we first convert each string to lowercase using the R
tolower() function before comparing them for equality.
TRUE for both
s1 == s2 and
s1 == s3.
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