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Combine Two Vectors Into a Single Vector in R

In this tutorial, we will look at how to combine two vectors into a single vector in R with the help of some examples.

How to combine two vectors in R?

You can use the c() function in R to combine two or more vectors into a single vector. Pass the vectors you want to combine as comma-separated arguments to the c() function. The following is the syntax –

# combine vectors 
c(vec1, vec2, vec3, ...)

It returns a single combined vector.

Examples

Let’s look at some examples of combining vectors.

Combine two numeric vectors in R

Let’s combine two numeric vectors together into a single vector. First, we will use the c() function to create the individual vectors and then use the c() again to combine the vectors together.

# combine two numeric vectors
vec <- c(c(1, 2, 3), c(4, 5))
# display the resulting vector
print(vec)

Output:

[1] 1 2 3 4 5

We get a single vector with values combined from both vectors.

Note that the c() function on all occasions in the above example is performing the same task – combining values (or vectors) together. Let’s look at this in more detail.

  • We use the c() function to create two vectors using c(1, 2, 3) and c(4, 5). The function here is taking these individual values and then combining them into a vector. An individual value, for example, 3 can be treated as a vector of length one. Thus, you can think of c(1, 2, 3) as combining three vectors of length one into a single vector of length 3.
  • The c() function is then used to combine the two vectors into a single vector of length five.

Combine two character vectors in R

Let’s now combine two vectors with character type values using the c() function.

# combine two character vectors
vec <- c(c("a", "b", "c"), c("d", "e"))
# display the resulting vector
print(vec)

Output:

[1] "a" "b" "c" "d" "e"

Here, we combine vectors c("a", "b", "c") and c("d", "e") into a single character vector of length five.

Combine two vectors with different value types

Vectors store values of the same type in R. When you combine vectors with values of different datatypes, R performs internal coercion such that the values are consistent with the same data type.

The following is the priority order for data type conversion –
logical < numeric < complex < characters

Let’s look at an example. Here, we will combine a numeric vector with a character vector.

vec <- c(c(1, 2, 3), c("a", "b", "c"))
# display the resulting vector
print(vec)

Output:

[1] "1" "2" "3" "a" "b" "c"

You can see that the resulting vector contains all the values from both the vectors but the values are converted to the character type.

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Author

  • Piyush is a data scientist passionate about using data to understand things better and make informed decisions. In the past, he's worked as a Data Scientist for ZS and holds an engineering degree from IIT Roorkee. His hobbies include watching cricket, reading, and working on side projects.