Oct 23, 2023 4 min read

How to run grep With Multiple AND Patterns?

Run grep with multiple AND patterns with our step-by-step tutorial. It is a powerful command-line tool used for searching files and directories.

Run grep With Multiple AND Patterns
Table of Contents


Before we start talking about how to run grep with multiple and patterns, let's briefly understand-What is grep?

The grep is a powerful command-line tool used for searching files and directories for lines that match a specified pattern. When using grep, you can search for lines that match multiple patterns by combining them with AND logic.

The grep command is one of the most commonly used to find or match patterns in text files or command output.  The "AND" operator is one that searches for and displays particular data from text files. But what if you want to utilize grep with several "AND" patterns? The "-e" flag of the grep command makes it possible.

This tutorial will walk you through the process of running grep with multiple AND patterns to refine your search results and find lines that match all specified criteria. We will also address a few FAQs on how to run grep with multiple and patterns.

How to use grep with multiple AND patterns?

The grep, also known as the Global Regular Expression print command, is a popular, open-source command-line tool. It is mostly used to use regular expressions to extract the necessary text from the files.

Syntax of the grep Command on Linux

The syntax for the grep command is as follows when used with several AND patterns:


grep 'pattern1.*pattern2' filename

Use the following help command to review the list of options:

grep --help

How to use the grep Command With Multiple Patterns?

In order to run grep with multiple AND patterns, use the "-e" flag as follows:

grep -e pattern1 -e pattern2 [File-Name]

Here, the "-e" flag defines each pattern to be searched; if you wish to add more patterns, place the "-e" flag before the additional patterns you want to search for.

You can use several AND patterns with the grep command by using the contents of the file in each example:

This is a sample file.
It has some lines of text.
There are a few words.
For example, we might look for the word "sample".
We can also search for multiple AND patterns at once.
Let's try searching for "sample" and "file" together.

Example 1: Locate and View Text Using Multiple AND Patterns

The text "example" and "sample" can be found in this example's "file.txt."

grep -e example -e sample file.txt

The "-e" flag of the grep command filters multiple text patterns as expected.

Example 2: Count the Lines of Occurrences of the Specified Text

The "-e and -c" options can be combined to count the lines in the file that contain the text, as follows:

grep -ce example -ce sample file.txt

There are three lines that, as would be expected, contain the terms "example" and "sample".

Example 3: Match the Whole Word

The "-e" flag can be combined with the "-w" flag in the following ways to view only the entire words in a text file that contains a lot of information:

grep -we examples -we sample file.txt

All the data in the file is displayed by the aforementioned command, but only the whole words are highlighted. The word "examples" does not mean the same thing as "example."

Example 4: Locate and Display Text in Multiple Files

The "-e" and "-n" flags are used in the following format to search for a word's occurrences in many files (in this case, Google):

grep -ne example file.txt -ne bird file2.txt

Upon execution, the aforementioned command also shows the line numbers where the pattern was matched.

Example 5: Use Regular Expressions and Multiple AND Patterns to Find and View Text

Regular expressions and the ".* (dot-star)" are used together to employ the AND operator in grep as follows:

grep 'few.*examples' file.txt

The aforementioned command matches any line that starts with the word "few" and ends with the word "examples" after any number of characters. It disregards the order when both words are in the same line.

FAQs: Running grep With Multiple AND Patterns

How can I specify multiple patterns for AND logic in grep? 

To specify multiple patterns for AND logic, you can use the -e option followed by each pattern. For example, grep -e pattern1 -e pattern2 file.txt searches for lines that match both pattern1 and pattern2 in the file file.txt.

Are there any shorthand options for AND pattern matching in grep? 

Yes, grep provides the egrep command, which is equivalent to grep -E. The -E option enables extended regular expression patterns, allowing more complex pattern matching with multiple AND conditions.

Can I use regular expressions for each pattern in grep?

Yes, grep supports regular expressions for each pattern. Regular expressions allow you to define complex patterns using meta characters and quantifiers to match specific patterns, characters, or groups in the text.

How can I search for lines that match multiple patterns regardless of their order? 

If the order of the patterns in the line doesn't matter, you can use the -f option with a file that contains each pattern on a separate line.

Can I search for lines that match one pattern and exclude another pattern? 

Yes, you can use the -e option with the -v option to specify patterns to include and patterns to exclude.

Can I combine grep with other commands or tools in a pipeline? 

Yes, grep can be combined with other commands or tools in a pipeline to perform complex data processing tasks. You can pipe the output of one command as input to grep for further filtering or analysis.

Are there any alternatives to grep for advanced pattern matching? 

Yes, there are other command-line tools like ack, ag, and ripgrep that offer faster and more advanced pattern matching capabilities compared to traditional grep.


The “-e” flag executes grep with multiple AND patterns. It specifies an expression. Additionally, users can use flags like "-w, -c" to search and examine more precise data. Multiple files are handled using the "-e" and "-n" flags. All the outputs are shown in the images above.

This tutorial described how to use the grep command's "-e" flag to operate with multiple AND patterns.

If you have any queries, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to respond to them.

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