# R Error: incorrect number of subscripts on matrix (2 Examples)

This article illustrates how to **handle the error message “incorrect number of subscripts on matrix”** in the R programming language.

The content of the tutorial looks as follows:

If you want to know more about these topics, keep reading:

## Creation of Example Data

The first step is to create some example data.

x <- 1:5 # Create example vector x # Print example vector # [1] 1 2 3 4 5 |

x <- 1:5 # Create example vector x # Print example vector # [1] 1 2 3 4 5

The previous output of the RStudio console shows the structure of our example data: It’s a vector object ranging from the numerical values 1 to 5.

## Example 1: Reproduce the Error – incorrect number of subscripts on matrix

In this example, I’ll show how to replicate the error message “incorrect number of subscripts on matrix” in the R programming language.

Let’s assume that we want to replace a certain index position of our vector. Then, we might try to use the following R code:

x[1, 3] <- 7 # Try to replace value # Error in x[1, 3] <- 7 : incorrect number of subscripts on matrix |

x[1, 3] <- 7 # Try to replace value # Error in x[1, 3] <- 7 : incorrect number of subscripts on matrix

Unfortunately, the RStudio console returns the error message “incorrect number of subscripts on matrix”.

The reason for this is that we have specified a two-dimensional subset of a one-dimensional vector (i.e. [1, 3]).

So how can we solve this problem in R?

## Example 2: Fix the Error – incorrect number of subscripts on matrix

In this section, I’ll show how to replace values in a vector object properly to avoid the error “incorrect number of subscripts on matrix”.

For this, we have to specify only a single value (i.e. index position) within the square brackets behind our vector object:

x[1] <- 7 # Properly replace value x # Print updated vector # [1] 7 2 3 4 5 |

x[1] <- 7 # Properly replace value x # Print updated vector # [1] 7 2 3 4 5

Have a look at the previous output: We have replaced the first value of our vector by the new value 7.

## Video & Further Resources

Do you want to know more about errors in R? Then you may want to watch the following video of my YouTube channel. In the video, I illustrate the content of this article.

*The YouTube video will be added soon.*

In addition, you might have a look at the other articles on this homepage.

In summary: In this R tutorial you have learned how to **debug the error “incorrect number of subscripts on matrix”**. In case you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below.