identical Function in R (Example)


In this tutorial you’ll learn how to test objects for exact equality using the identical function in R.

The page will consist of this:

It’s time to dive into the example:


Constructing Example Data

At first, we need to create some data that we can use in the following examples:

x1 <- letters[1:3]        # Create first example vector
x1                        # Print first example vector
# [1] "a" "b" "c"
x2 <- letters[1:3]        # Create second example vector
x2                        # Print second example vector
# [1] "a" "b" "c"
x3 <- letters[1:4]        # Create third example vector
x3                        # Print third example vector
# [1] "a" "b" "c" "d"

The previous RStudio console outputs show the structure of our example data: We have created three vector objects called x1, x2, and x3.

Let’s compare these vectors!


Example: Apply identical() Function to Vector Objects

In this example, I’ll demonstrate how to apply the identical function to test two data objects for being exactly equal in R.

For this, we have to specify the two data objects that we want to compare within the identical function:

identical(x1, x2)         # Apply identical function
# [1] TRUE

The previous R code has returned the logical indicator TRUE, i.e. the vector objects x1 and x2 contain exactly the same values.

Let’s compare two other vectors:

identical(x1, x3)         # Apply identical function
# [1] FALSE

The vectors x1 and x3 are not identical.


Video & Further Resources

Do you need further info on the examples of this article? Then you may want to have a look at the following video on my YouTube channel. I’m explaining the topics of this page in the video:



Furthermore, you could have a look at some of the related tutorials on


In summary: You have learned in this article how to check whether two objects are exactly the same by applying the identical function in the R programming language.

In this tutorial, we have illustrated the usage of the identical function based on character vectors. Note that we could also apply the identical function to other types of data objects such as data frames or lists as well as to different data classes such as numerical or factor values.

Let me know in the comments section below, in case you have any further questions.


Subscribe to the Statistics Globe Newsletter

Get regular updates on the latest tutorials, offers & news at Statistics Globe.
I hate spam & you may opt out anytime: Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.