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Because you are trying to match string which occurs twice and 'abcdefg' is first correct candidate. I can think only about such approach for your problem:
$ perl -le 'print $x = "abcdefgxxabcdefgzzabcdsjfhkdfab"; print $1 if +$x =~ /(\w{2,})(.*?\1){2}/;' abcdefgxxabcdefgzzabcdsjfhkdfab abcd $ perl -le 'print $x = "abcdefgxxabcdefgzzabcdsjfhkdfab"; print $1 if +$x =~ /(\w{2,})(.*?\1){3}/;' abcdefgxxabcdefgzzabcdsjfhkdfab ab $ perl -le 'print $x = "abcdefgxxabcdefgzzabcdsjfhkdfab"; print $1 if +$x =~ /(\w{2,})(.*?\1){4}/;' abcdefgxxabcdefgzzabcdsjfhkdfab
I.e. The problem is you have to say exactly how many occurences you want (there is no 'greediness' in this case == you can't say "I want as many occurences as possible", only lowest possible number of occurences will be chosen).

In reply to Re: RegEx + vs. {1,} by grizzley
in thread RegEx + vs. {1,} by Sewi

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