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The  (*F) operator was introduced with 5.10. Prior to that,  (?!) can be used.

>perl -wMstrict -le "for my $n (4 .. 9) { my $str = qq{I have 5 apples, $n oranges, and 8 limes.}; print qq{'$str'}; next unless $str =~ m{ (\d+) \s+ apples \D+ (\d+) \s+ oranges \D+ (\d+) \s+ limes (?(?{ $1 < $2 && $2 < $3 }) | (*F) ) }xms; print qq{'$2'}; } " 'I have 5 apples, 4 oranges, and 8 limes.' 'I have 5 apples, 5 oranges, and 8 limes.' 'I have 5 apples, 6 oranges, and 8 limes.' '6' 'I have 5 apples, 7 oranges, and 8 limes.' '7' 'I have 5 apples, 8 oranges, and 8 limes.' 'I have 5 apples, 9 oranges, and 8 limes.'

In reply to Re^3: How to use "less than" and "greater than" inside a regex for a $variable number by AnomalousMonk
in thread How to use "less than" and "greater than" inside a regex for a $variable number by Polyglot

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