matching exactly a 4 digit number in python

John Machin sjmachin at
Fri Nov 21 23:12:11 CET 2008

On Nov 22, 8:46 am, harijay <hari... at> wrote:
> Hi
> I am a few months new into python. I have used regexps before in perl
> and java but am a little confused with this problem.
> I want to parse a number of strings and extract only those that
> contain a 4 digit number anywhere inside a string
> However the regexp
> p = re.compile(r'\d{4}')
> Matches even sentences that have longer than 4 numbers inside
> strings ..for example it matches "I have 3324234 and more"

No it doesn't. When used with on that string it matches
3324, it doesn't "match" the whole sentence.

> I am very confused. Shouldnt the \d{4,} match exactly four digit
> numbers so a 5 digit number sentence should not be matched .

{4} does NOT mean the same as {4,}.
{4} is the same as {4,4}
{4,} means {4,INFINITY}

Ignoring {4,}:

You need to specify a regex that says "4 digits followed by (non-digit
or end-of-string)". Have a try at that and come back here if you have
any more problems.

some test data:

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