I am studying string manipulation. I have a list of strings all members of which consist of 2 or 3 words followed by a 3 letter capital appreviation of the words, for example

str={A Big Cheese ABC}

I'd like to get two substrings:

str1={A Big Cheese}



Using UpperCaseQ returning "True" for three characters in a row would appear to be a first step. Any thoughts?

  • $\begingroup$ You want to make a StringPattern and feed it to StringReplace $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Oct 11, 2016 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ str is not a string. $\endgroup$
    – corey979
    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:36

3 Answers 3


First you need a string pattern that matches your inputs. The first part of your string "A Big Cheese", can be matched by two underscores, __. The last part is always three upper case letters in a row. You can match any upper case letter with

caps = Alternatives @@ (ToUpperCase /@ Alphabet[])

enter image description here

You can see it work here,

StringMatchQ["A", caps]
(* True *)

To catch three capital letters in a row, you can join them using ~~

StringMatchQ["ABC", caps ~~ caps ~~ caps]
(* True *)

StringMatchQ["AbC", caps ~~ caps ~~ caps]
(* False *)

Or you can use Repeated,

StringMatchQ["XYZ", Repeated[caps, {3}]]
(* True *)

Now that we have our pattern we can give it to StringCases. You need to name the patterns and apply a transformation rule

StringCases["A Big Cheese ABC", a__ ~~ b : Repeated[caps, {3}] :> {a, b}]
(* {{"A Big Cheese ", "ABC"}} *)

You can wrap this up into a function, using First to remove the extra curly brackets,

splitSTRING["examine your zipper XYZ"]
(* {"examine your zipper ", "XYZ"} *)


As march points out you don't have to use Alternatives to make a Pattern, you could use UpperCaseQ to make a PatternTest:

StringCases["A Big Cheese ABC", 
 a__ ~~ b : Repeated[_?(UpperCaseQ), {3}] :> {a, b}]
(* {{"A Big Cheese ", "ABC"}} *)
  • $\begingroup$ Would not Repeated[_?(UpperCaseQ), {3}] work as well, rather than defining caps? $\endgroup$
    – march
    Oct 11, 2016 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ Yes indeed you can - I just have been using Alternatives a lot lately so that was my go-to solution. $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Oct 11, 2016 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah okay, I didn't do it myself, so I wasn't sure if there was some pitfall there I just wasn't seeing. $\endgroup$
    – march
    Oct 11, 2016 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ A regex variation: StringCases[{"A Big Cheese ABC", "examine your zipper XYZ"}, RegularExpression["((\\w|\\s)+) ([[:upper:]]{3})"] -> {"$1", "$3"}]. $\endgroup$ Oct 12, 2016 at 6:55

Since the input strings end with a 3 letter capital abbreviation of the words, you can use StringTake:

StringTake["A Big Cheese ABC", {{1, -5}, -3}]

{"A Big Cheese", "ABC"}


a work around:

str1=StringJoin[Riffle[Most[Flatten[StringSplit[str]]], " "]]



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