How to Escape Single Quotes in Bash? [3 Interactive Cases]

When working with strings containing single quotes, often a fundamental task, escaping single quotes becomes essential to maintain the high integrity of Bash scripts. This escaping skill allows you to deal with a variety of data within a string including single quotes in a literal format. In this article, I’ll explore how you can escape single quotes in Bash using different cases.

Context of Escaping Single Quotes in Bash

Escaping is necessary for those cases when you feel the need to include literal single quotes within strings like regular expression patterns, configuration files, single-quoted strings etc.

How Does the Problem Arise?

In Bash scripting, every time you use a single quote, the shell interprets all characters including special characters inside the quote as literal values. But there arises a syntax error when you include a single quote within a single-quoted string as Bash interprets the outer single quotes as the delimiter of the string. So, how to encase single quotes in a single-quoted string?

Here, escaping is the solution that comes to work around the above problem. You can easily solve the issue by using a special syntax discussed in detail in Case 1 of the following section.

3 Different Cases to Escape Single Quotes in Bash

Here, I am going to demonstrate three different cases to escape single quotes in Bash:

1. Using a Backslash Character (\) to Escape Single Quotes in Bash

In Bash scripting, one effective way to escape a single quote enclosed within a single-quoted string is to use a backslash character (\). Here is a sample code that demonstrates the way to escape a single quote:

#!/bin/bash

#Displaying the output
echo 'It'\''s a website called LinuxSimply & I'\''m escaping here.'
EXPLANATION

Here, in #!/bin/bash, ‘#!’ is called Shebang’ or ‘Hashbang. Then, in the line echo 'It'\''s a website called LinuxSimply & I'\''m escaping here.', the echo command displays the output.

Output of escaping single quotes using a backslash

From the image, you can see that I have escaped the single quotes that are enclosed within a single-quoted string by using a backslash in the ‘\” format.

2. Using Double Quotes (“) to Escape Single Quotes in Bash

Encase all the single quotes in a double-quoted string to directly escape the single quotes without using any symbol or character in Bash. Here is an example:

#!/bin/bash

#Displaying the output
echo "It's a website called LinuxSimply & I'm escaping here."
EXPLANATION

Here, in the line echo "It's a website called LinuxSimply & I'm escaping here.", the echo command displays the output.

Output of escaping single quotes by enclosing within double quotes

From the image, you can see that I have escaped the single quotes directly that are enclosed within a double-quoted string.

3. Using Backslash (\) Inside ($’…’) Syntax to Escape Single Quotes in Bash

Generally, Bash treats the strings specially that are prefixed with the $’ symbol. So, you can easily escape single quotes using the ANSI-C quoted string $’…’. And you must put a backslash (\) before every single quote inside the syntax $’…’. Here is an example:

#!/bin/bash

#Displaying the output
echo $'It\'s a website called LinuxSimply & I\'m escaping here.'
EXPLANATION

Here, in the line echo $'It\'s a website called LinuxSimply & I\'m escaping here.', the echo command displays the output.

Output of escaping single quotes using backslash inside the syntax $'...'

The above image resembles the escape quoting of single quotes using a backslash where the single quotes are enclosed within the syntax $’…’.

Conclusion

To wrap up, escaping single quotes is such a crucial technique that enables you to confidently handle several scenarios of a proper interpretation of single quotes.

People Also Ask

Why to escape single quotes in Bash?

As single quotes create literal strings, whenever you want to include a single quote within a single quoted string, you must escape the single quote to prevent Bash from interpreting it.

Can I include both single and double quotes within a string in Bash?

Yes, you can include both single and double quotes within a string in Bash by employing an accurate escaping technique.

What if I want to use variables within single-quoted strings in Bash?

If you use variables within single-quoted strings in Bash, there will be no variable expansion. So, to make this happen, you need to concatenate single quotes with double quotes.

Does Bash support hexadecimal or octal escape sequences for single quote?

No, Bash doesn’t support hexadecimal (\x) or octal (0) escape sequences for a single quote.


Related Articles


<< Go Back to Escape Quotes in Bash | Bash Quotes | Bash Scripting Tutorial

Rate this post
LINUX
FUNDAMENTALS
A Complete Guide for Beginners Enroll Course Now
icon linux
Nadiba Rahman

Hello, This is Nadiba Rahman, currently working as a Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I have completed my graduation with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology (RUET).I am quite passionate about crafting. I really adore exploring and learning new things which always helps me to think transparently. And this curiosity led me to pursue knowledge about Linux. My goal is to portray Linux-based practical problems and share them with you. Read Full Bio

Leave a Comment