Regular Expressions 101

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/
(deficient)(\s.*?\s)(exhibited)(\s.*?\s)(gmk)
/
1st Capturing Group
(deficient)
deficient
matches the characters deficient literally (case sensitive)
2nd Capturing Group
(\s.*?\s)
\s matches any whitespace character (equivalent to [\r\n\t\f\v ])
.
matches any character (except for line terminators)
*? matches the previous token between zero and unlimited times, as few times as possible, expanding as needed (lazy)
\s matches any whitespace character (equivalent to [\r\n\t\f\v ])
3rd Capturing Group
(exhibited)
exhibited
matches the characters exhibited literally (case sensitive)
4th Capturing Group
(\s.*?\s)
\s matches any whitespace character (equivalent to [\r\n\t\f\v ])
.
matches any character (except for line terminators)
*? matches the previous token between zero and unlimited times, as few times as possible, expanding as needed (lazy)
\s matches any whitespace character (equivalent to [\r\n\t\f\v ])
5th Capturing Group
(gmk)
gmk
matches the characters gmk literally (case sensitive)
Your regular expression does not match the subject string.Try launching the debugger to find out why.

Regular Expression
No Match

/
/

Test String

Code Generator

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For a full regex reference for PHP, please visit: http://php.net/manual/en/ref.pcre.php