Finding the Python Equivalent to R’s gsub Function

Simplest Python Equivalent To R Gsub

Many a time, we try to find a substitution for something in our lives. For example, on the cricket field, if a player gets injured there are always other extra players available to take their place. In this case, all of them serve the same purpose, that is, playing the game!

Similarly, in programming languages, we try to find the equivalent of one function of a particular language in another. This makes it easier for us to switch between languages and equivalents help us learn the logic behind programs as a whole all the while jumping from one language to another.

R and Python, are two of the most widely used programming languages in today’s world. They are quite similar to one another in the sense that their syntax is very easy to understand and both of them are used for the same purposes like deep learning and data science. Even with all the similarities, there are still differentiators which make them two separate languages all together.

Most of the functions available in R has an equivalent in Python and vice versa. Such as string replacements can be carried out with the gsub() function in R, and the same thing can be achieved in Python using the sub() function from the regular expression module.

Exploring the Common Ground: Similarities between R and Python

There are many ways in which R and Python are closely related to one another. This is also the reason why it is easier to switch between these two without breaking a sweat.

Let’s take a look at some of the similarities between the two most popular programming languages in the world.

  • Both of them are used for data analysis and high level calculations.
  • They are both open sourced high level programming languages.
  • They are both used for artificial intelligence and machine learning models. They are two of the most popular and preferred languages for deep learning.
  • They are both platform independent.
  • Both of them are very easy to understand syntactically.
  • They both have a huge demand in today’s world and among industry leaders.

Distinguishing Features: Differences between R and Python

Since these two are completely different languages, they have their fair share of differences despite their similarities. Some of them are:

  • Python is a more general purpose programming languages that are used for machine learning as well as web developments. On the other hand, R is a statistical programming language that is more popularpopular among statisticians and data scientists.
  • If your very first language is Python, you know that its syntax makes everything worth! Unlike R, which has a moderately steep learning curve, Python is beginner friendly.
  • Even though both R and Python are incredibly popular, Python takes the crown in this regard, since R is mostly used for complex statistical analysis whereas Python is more general purpose.
Similarities And Differences Between R And Python
Similarities And Differences Between R And Python

Read more about: Python vs R Programming Language.

Understanding R’s gsub Function: A Deep Dive

The gsub() function in R programming is used to replace a portion of a given string when a particular pattern matches with parts of it. In simple words, if we specify a pattern say the “@” character and search for this character in a string, the gsub() function will find all instances of it and then replace it with something else. If no match is found, the string will be returned as it is.

Let’s briefly look at how it works in the given code block below. The gsub function has the following syntax:

gsub(our_pattern, replacement, given_string,

Here, the our_pattern parameter is the pattern that we’re looking for, the replacement parameter is the required replacement for the pattern if found, the given_string is the string where all of the operations are to be carried out and the parameter is used to detect the cases of alphabets and consider or ignore them as per requirement.

#declaring our string of characters
our_string <- "Hello! this is Shreya!from!I am here to make! your life! easier!"
# Calling gsub() function
gsub("!", "--", our_string, = FALSE)

So, the above code in R should replace all the exclamation points from our_string with “–” using the gsub() function. The output will be:

R -s -f main.r
[1] "Hello-- this is Shreya--from am here to make-- your life-- easier--"
The Gsub Function In R
The gsub() Function In R

Discovering Python’s re.sub Function: The gsub Equivalent in Python

The re module or the regular expression module in Python is one of the most popular libraries for text recognition and pattern matching. It has a huge range of functions that are very easy to use and can be customized accordingly for doing almost everything you want.

The re.sub() function, is the same as the gsub() function, which finds all the instances of a given pattern in a specified string and replaces it with another pattern or character. The syntax is :

re.sub(Pattern_search, replacement, our_string)

In this Python code, we import the regular expressions module ‘re’. We then declare a string with exclamation points. Using the re.sub() function, we replace all exclamation points in the string with asterisks. Let’s take a look

#importing the regular expressions module
import re 
#declaring our string
our_string = "this!is!shreya!we!are!replacing!exclamation!points!with!asterisks"
#Using re.sub() function
print(re.sub("!", "*", our_string))

The output is:

The Re Sub Function In Python
The re.sub() Function In Python

Do check out: Python String contains: Check if String Contains Substring.

Final Thoughts

Even though the two languages namely R and Python are closely related, they are not quite the same. Python is a more general-purpose language whereas R is more complex and used for a particular niche in data science and statistics. A lot of functions in R have their equivalent in Python and vice versa for performing the same or similar tasks.

The gsub() function is one such function that finds it equivalent in the regular expression library in Python. Both of these functions are used for string replacement and pattern matching and serve similar purposes. Which language do you find more engaging?