How to Compare Two Vector Objects in R (5 Examples)

This tutorial illustrates how to compare vectors in the R programming language.

Creating Example Data

x <- c("A", "B", "C")        # Constructing two example vectors
y <- c("A", "B", "D")

Example 1: Are Both Vectors Identical?

identical(x, y)              # Test whether vectors are identical
# [1] FALSE

Example 2: Which Vector Elements are the Same?

x == y                       # Test for equal elements
# [1]  TRUE  TRUE FALSE

Example 3: Which Elements of First Vector Exit in Second?

x %in% y                     # Test for existence of elements
# [1]  TRUE  TRUE FALSE

Example 4: Which Elements Exist in First & Second Vector?

intersect(x, y)              # Test for elements that exist in both
# [1] "A" "B"

Example 5: Which Elements Exist Only in First Vector?

setdiff(x, y)                # Test for elements that exist only in first
# [1] "C"

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