stri_compare: Compare Strings with or without Collation#


These functions may be used to determine if two strings are equal, canonically equivalent (this is performed in a much more clever fashion than when testing for equality), or to check whether they are in a specific lexicographic order.


stri_compare(e1, e2, ..., opts_collator = NULL)

stri_cmp(e1, e2, ..., opts_collator = NULL)

stri_cmp_eq(e1, e2)

stri_cmp_neq(e1, e2)

stri_cmp_equiv(e1, e2, ..., opts_collator = NULL)

stri_cmp_nequiv(e1, e2, ..., opts_collator = NULL)

stri_cmp_lt(e1, e2, ..., opts_collator = NULL)

stri_cmp_gt(e1, e2, ..., opts_collator = NULL)

stri_cmp_le(e1, e2, ..., opts_collator = NULL)

stri_cmp_ge(e1, e2, ..., opts_collator = NULL)


e1, e2

character vectors or objects coercible to character vectors


additional settings for opts_collator


a named list with ICU Collator’s options, see stri_opts_collator, NULL for the default collation options.


All the functions listed here are vectorized over e1 and e2.

stri_cmp_eq tests whether two corresponding strings consist of exactly the same code points, while stri_cmp_neq allows to check whether there is any difference between them. These are locale-independent operations: for natural language processing, where the notion of canonical equivalence is more valid, this might not be exactly what you are looking for, see Examples. Please note that stringi always silently removes UTF-8 BOMs from input strings, therefore, e.g., stri_cmp_eq does not take BOMs into account while comparing strings.

stri_cmp_equiv tests for canonical equivalence of two strings and is locale-dependent. Additionally, the ICU’s Collator may be tuned up so that, e.g., the comparison is case-insensitive. To test whether two strings are not canonically equivalent, call stri_cmp_nequiv.

stri_cmp_le tests whether the elements in the first vector are less than or equal to the corresponding elements in the second vector, stri_cmp_ge tests whether they are greater or equal, stri_cmp_lt if less, and stri_cmp_gt if greater, see also, e.g., %s<%.

stri_compare is an alias to stri_cmp. They both perform exactly the same locale-dependent operation. Both functions provide a C library’s strcmp() look-and-feel, see Value for details.

For more information on ICU’s Collator and how to tune its settings refer to stri_opts_collator. Note that different locale settings may lead to different results (see the examples below).


The stri_cmp and stri_compare functions return an integer vector representing the comparison results: -1 if e1[...] < e2[...], 0 if they are canonically equivalent, and 1 if greater.

All the other functions return a logical vector that indicates whether a given relation holds between two corresponding elements in e1 and e2.


Marek Gagolewski and other contributors


Collation – ICU User Guide,

See Also#

The official online manual of stringi at

Gagolewski M., stringi: Fast and portable character string processing in R, Journal of Statistical Software 103(2), 2022, 1-59, doi:10.18637/jss.v103.i02

Other locale_sensitive: %s<%(), about_locale, about_search_boundaries, about_search_coll, stri_count_boundaries(), stri_duplicated(), stri_enc_detect2(), stri_extract_all_boundaries(), stri_locate_all_boundaries(), stri_opts_collator(), stri_order(), stri_rank(), stri_sort_key(), stri_sort(), stri_split_boundaries(), stri_trans_tolower(), stri_unique(), stri_wrap()


# in Polish, ch < h:
stri_cmp_lt('hladny', 'chladny', locale='pl_PL')
## [1] FALSE
# in Slovak, ch > h:
stri_cmp_lt('hladny', 'chladny', locale='sk_SK')
## [1] TRUE
# < or > (depends on locale):
stri_cmp('hladny', 'chladny')
## [1] 1
# ignore case differences:
stri_cmp_equiv('hladny', 'HLADNY', strength=2)
## [1] TRUE
# also ignore diacritical differences:
stri_cmp_equiv('hladn\u00FD', 'hladny', strength=1, locale='sk_SK')
## [1] TRUE
marios <- c('Mario', 'mario', 'M\\u00e1rio', 'm\\u00e1rio')
stri_cmp_equiv(marios, 'mario', case_level=TRUE, strength=2L)
stri_cmp_equiv(marios, 'mario', case_level=TRUE, strength=1L)
stri_cmp_equiv(marios, 'mario', strength=1L)
stri_cmp_equiv(marios, 'mario', strength=2L)
# non-Unicode-normalized vs normalized string:
stri_cmp_equiv(stri_trans_nfkd('\u0105'), '\u105')
## [1] TRUE
# note the difference:
stri_cmp_eq(stri_trans_nfkd('\u0105'), '\u105')
## [1] FALSE
# ligatures:
stri_cmp_equiv('\ufb00', 'ff', strength=2)
## [1] TRUE
# phonebook collation
stri_cmp_equiv('G\u00e4rtner', 'Gaertner', locale='de_DE@collation=phonebook', strength=1L)
## [1] TRUE
stri_cmp_equiv('G\u00e4rtner', 'Gaertner', locale='de_DE', strength=1L)
## [1] FALSE