Beginners tutorial with R – Switch Statement

(R Tutorials for Citizen Data Scientist)

Beginners tutorial with R – Switch Statement

switch statement allows a variable to be tested for equality against a list of values. Each value is called a case, and the variable being switched on is checked for each case.


The basic syntax for creating a switch statement in R is −

switch(expression, case1, case2, case3....)

The following rules apply to a switch statement −

  • If the value of expression is not a character string it is coerced to integer.
  • You can have any number of case statements within a switch. Each case is followed by the value to be compared to and a colon.
  • If the value of the integer is between 1 and nargs()−1 (The max number of arguments)then the corresponding element of case condition is evaluated and the result returned.
  • If expression evaluates to a character string then that string is matched (exactly) to the names of the elements.
  • If there is more than one match, the first matching element is returned.
  • No Default argument is available.
  • In the case of no match, if there is a unnamed element of … its value is returned. (If there is more than one such argument an error is returned.)


Flow Diagram

R switch statement


x <- switch(

When the above code is compiled and executed, it produces the following result −

[1] "third"


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Beginners tutorial with R – Switch Statement


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