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Regex - Difference in ^[abc] and [^abc]

O. Ziggy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 02, 2005
Posts: 430

I am trying to find out what is the difference between ^[abc] and [^abc]

I tried two simple examples using



Output






:Output


I know that the first one is saying get any character that is not a, b or c

- When you say [^abc], shouldnt abc have been in brackets for the ^ character apply to all three characters?
- Please explain the difference in output of the above two examples.
Darryl Burke
Bartender

Joined: May 03, 2008
Posts: 4642
    
    5

^ outside a character class isn't a negation, it's the start of input.

Recommended reading:
http://download.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/essential/regex/index.html
http://www.regular-expressions.info/

luck, db
There are no new questions, but there may be new answers.
O. Ziggy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 02, 2005
Posts: 430

oh ok that makes sense.
O. Ziggy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 02, 2005
Posts: 430

Darryl Burke wrote:^ outside a character class isn't a negation, it's the start of input.

Recommended reading:
http://download.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/essential/regex/index.html
http://www.regular-expressions.info/


Thanks for this. That second one is quite good..
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8829
    
    5
off the top of my head, I think this topic is outside the scope of the exam... it would be worth double checking

to be sure, the exam focuses on a small subset of regex


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