base (version 3.3.2)

c: Combine Values into a Vector or List


This is a generic function which combines its arguments. The default method combines its arguments to form a vector. All arguments are coerced to a common type which is the type of the returned value, and all attributes except names are removed.


## S3 Generic function

# S3 method for default c(…, recursive = FALSE, use.names = TRUE)


objects to be concatenated.
logical. If recursive = TRUE, the function recursively descends through lists (and pairlists) combining all their elements into a vector.
logical indicating if names should be preserved.


NULL or an expression or a vector of an appropriate mode. (With no arguments the value is NULL.)

S4 methods

This function is S4 generic, but with argument list (x, ..., recursive = FALSE).


The output type is determined from the highest type of the components in the hierarchy NULL < raw < logical < integer < double < complex < character < list < expression. Pairlists are treated as lists, but non-vector components (such names and calls) are treated as one-element lists which cannot be unlisted even if recursive = TRUE. Note that factors are treated only via their internal integer codes; one proposal has been to use
   c.factor <- function(..., recursive=TRUE) unlist(list(...), recursive=recursive)
if factor concatenation by c() should give a factor. c is sometimes used for its side effect of removing attributes except names, for example to turn an array into a vector. as.vector is a more intuitive way to do this, but also drops names. Note too that methods other than the default are not required to do this (and they will almost certainly preserve a class attribute). This is a primitive function.


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

See Also

unlist and as.vector to produce attribute-free vectors.


Run this code
c(1:5, 10.5, "next")

## uses with a single argument to drop attributes
x <- 1:4
names(x) <- letters[1:4]
c(x)          # has names
as.vector(x)  # no names
dim(x) <- c(2,2)

## append to a list:
ll <- list(A = 1, c = "C")
## do *not* use
c(ll, d = 1:3) # which is == c(ll, as.list(c(d = 1:3))
## but rather
c(ll, d = list(1:3))  # c() combining two lists

c(list(A = c(B = 1)), recursive = TRUE)

c(options(), recursive = TRUE)
c(list(A = c(B = 1, C = 2), B = c(E = 7)), recursive = TRUE)

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