# NumericConstants

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##### Numeric Constants

How R parses numeric constants.

Keywords
documentation
##### Details

R parses numeric constants in its input in a very similar way to C99 floating-point constants.

Inf and NaN are numeric constants (with typeof(.) "double"). In text input (e.g., in scan and as.double), these are recognized ignoring case as is infinity as an alternative to Inf. NA_real_ and NA_integer_ are constants of types "double" and "integer" representing missing values. All other numeric constants start with a digit or period and are either a decimal or hexadecimal constant optionally followed by L.

Hexadecimal constants start with 0x or 0X followed by a nonempty sequence from 0-9 a-f A-F . which is interpreted as a hexadecimal number, optionally followed by a binary exponent. A binary exponent consists of a P or p followed by an optional plus or minus sign followed by a non-empty sequence of (decimal) digits, and indicates multiplication by a power of two. Thus 0x123p456 is $291 * 2^456$.

Decimal constants consist of a nonempty sequence of digits possibly containing a period (the decimal point), optionally followed by a decimal exponent. A decimal exponent consists of an E or e followed by an optional plus or minus sign followed by a non-empty sequence of digits, and indicates multiplication by a power of ten.

Values which are too large or too small to be representable will overflow to Inf or underflow to 0.0.

A numeric constant immediately followed by i is regarded as an imaginary complex number.

An numeric constant immediately followed by L is regarded as an integer number when possible (and with a warning if it contains a ".").

Only the ASCII digits 0--9 are recognized as digits, even in languages which have other representations of digits. The ‘decimal separator’ is always a period and never a comma.

Note that a leading plus or minus is not regarded by the parser as part of a numeric constant but as a unary operator applied to the constant.

##### Note

When a string is parsed to input a numeric constant, the number may or may not be representable exactly in the C double type used. If not one of the nearest representable numbers will be returned.

R's own C code is used to convert constants to binary numbers, so the effect can be expected to be the same on all platforms implementing full IEC 600559 arithmetic (the most likely area of difference being the handling of numbers less than .Machine\$double.xmin). The same code is used by scan.

##### See Also

Syntax.

Quotes for the parsing of character constants,

##### Aliases
• NumericConstants
• 1L
• 0x1
• 1i
##### Examples
library(base) 2.1 typeof(2) sqrt(1i) # remember elementary math? utils::str(0xA0) identical(1L, as.integer(1)) ## You can combine the "0x" prefix with the "L" suffix : identical(0xFL, as.integer(15)) 
Documentation reproduced from package base, version 3.1.3, License: Part of R 3.1.3

### Community examples

richie@datacamp.com at Jan 17, 2017 base v3.3.2

There are four special NumericConstants. {r} Inf -Inf NaN NA_real_  … and one special integer. {r} NA_integer_