GroupNameFromNumber Method

Regex.GroupNameFromNumber Method (Int32)


Gets the group name that corresponds to the specified group number.

Namespace:   System.Text.RegularExpressions
Assembly:  System (in System.dll)

Public Function GroupNameFromNumber (
	i As Integer
) As String


Type: System.Int32

The group number to convert to the corresponding group name.

Return Value

Type: System.String

A string that contains the group name associated with the specified group number. If there is no group name that corresponds to i, the method returns String.Empty.

A regular expression pattern may contain either named or numbered capturing groups, which delineate subexpressions within a pattern match. Numbered groups are delimited by the syntax (subexpression) and are assigned numbers based on their order in the regular expression. Named groups are delimited by the syntax (?<name>subexpression) or (?'name'subexpression), where name is the name by which the subexpression will be identified. (For more information, see Grouping Constructs in Regular Expressions.) The GroupNameFromNumber method identifies both named groups and numbered groups by their ordinal positions in the regular expression. Ordinal position zero always represents the entire regular expression. All numbered groups are then counted before named groups, regardless of their actual position in the regular expression pattern.

If i is the number of a named group, the method returns the name of the group. If i is the number of an unnamed group, the method returns the string representation of the number. For example, if i is 1, the method returns "1". If i is not the number of a capturing group, the method returns String.Empty.

If a pattern match is found, the value returned by this method can then be used to retrieve the Group object that represents the captured group from the GroupCollection.Item property. The GroupCollection object is returned by the Match.Groups property.

The following example defines a regular expression pattern that matches an address line containing a U.S. city name, state name, and zip code. The example uses the GroupNameFromNumber method to retrieve the names of capturing groups. It then uses these names to retrieve the corresponding captured groups for matches.

Imports System.Collections.Generic
Imports System.Text.RegularExpressions

Module Example
   Public Sub Main()
      Dim pattern As String = "(?<city>[A-Za-z\s]+), (?<state>[A-Za-z]{2}) (?<zip>\d{5}(-\d{4})?)"
      Dim cityLines() As String = {"New York, NY 10003", "Brooklyn, NY 11238", "Detroit, MI 48204", _
                                   "San Francisco, CA 94109", "Seattle, WA 98109" }
      Dim rgx As New Regex(pattern)
      Dim names As New List(Of String)      
      Dim ctr As Integer = 1
      Dim exitFlag As Boolean = False
      ' Get group names.
         Dim name As String = rgx.GroupNameFromNumber(ctr)
         If Not String.IsNullOrEmpty(name) Then
            ctr += 1
            exitFlag = True
         End If
      Loop While Not exitFlag

      For Each cityLine As String In cityLines
         Dim match As Match = rgx.Match(cityLine)
         If match.Success Then
            Console.WriteLine("Zip code {0} is in {1}, {2}.", _
                               match.Groups.Item(names.Item(3)), _
                               match.Groups.Item(names.Item(1)), _
         End If   
   End Sub
End Module
' The example displays the following output:
'       Zip code 10003 is in New York, NY.
'       Zip code 11238 is in Brooklyn, NY.
'       Zip code 48204 is in Detroit, MI.
'       Zip code 94109 is in San Francisco, CA.
'       Zip code 98109 is in Seattle, WA.

The regular expression pattern is defined by the following expression:

(?<city>[A-Za-z\s]+), (?<state>[A-Za-z]{2}) (?<zip>\d{5}(-\d{4})?)

The following table shows how the regular expression pattern is interpreted.




Match one or more alphabetic or white-space character. Assign this captured group the name city.


Match a comma (,) followed by a white-space character.


Match two alphabetic characters. Assign this captured group the name state. This group should be followed by a white-space character.


Match five numeric digits followed by either zero or one occurrence of a hyphen followed by four digits. Assign this captured group the name zip.

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 4.5
.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Windows Phone
Available since 8.1
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