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R - Basic Syntax

As a convention, we will start learning R programming by writing a "Hello, World!" program. Depending on the needs, you can program either at R command prompt or you can use an R script file to write your program. Let's check both one by one.

R Command Prompt

Once you have R environment setup, then it’s easy to start your R command prompt by just typing the following command at your command prompt −
$ R
This will launch R interpreter and you will get a prompt > where you can start typing your program as follows −
> myString <- "Hello, World!"
> print ( myString)
[1] "Hello, World!"
Here first statement defines a string variable myString, where we assign a string "Hello, World!" and then next statement print() is being used to print the value stored in variable myString.

R Script File

Usually, you will do your programming by writing your programs in script files and then you execute those scripts at your command prompt with the help of R interpreter called Rscript. So let's start with writing following code in a text file called test.R as under −
# My first program in R Programming
myString <- "Hello, World!"

print ( myString)
Save the above code in a file test.R and execute it at Linux command prompt as given below. Even if you are using Windows or other system, syntax will remain same.
$ Rscript test.R 
When we run the above program, it produces the following result.
[1] "Hello, World!"


Comments are like helping text in your R program and they are ignored by the interpreter while executing your actual program. Single comment is written using # in the beginning of the statement as follows −
# My first program in R Programming
R does not support multi-line comments but you can perform a trick which is something as follows −
if(FALSE) {
   "This is a demo for multi-line comments and it should be put inside either a single
      OR double quote"

myString <- "Hello, World!"
print ( myString)
Though above comments will be executed by R interpreter, they will not interfere with your actual program. You should put such comments inside, either single or double quote.

Table of contents: 
1. R - Overview
2. R - Environment Setup
3. R - Basic Syntax
4. R - Data Types
5. R - Variables
6. R - Operators
7. R - Decision Making
8. R - Loops
9. R - Functions
10. R - Strings
11. R - Vectors
12. R - Matrices
13. R - Arrays
14. R - Factors
15. R - Data Frames
16. R - Packages
17. R - Data Reshaping
18. R - CSV Files
19. R - Excel Files
20. R - Binary Files
21. R - XML Files
22. R - JSON Files
23. R - Web Data
24. R - Database
25. R - Pie Charts
26. R - Bar Charts
27. R - Boxplots
28. R - Histograms
29. R - Line Graphs
30. R - Scatterplots
31. R - Mean, Median and Mode
32. R - Linear Regression
33. R - Multiple Regression
34. R - Logistic Regression
35. R - Normal Distribution
36. R - Binomial Distribution
37. R - Poisson Regression
38. R - Analysis of Covariance
39. R - Time Series Analysis
40. R - Nonlinear Least Square
41. R - Decision Tree
42. R - Random Forest
43. R - Survival Analysis
44. R - Chi Square Tests


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