# How to Solve R Error in rep(1, n) : invalid “times” argument

by | Programming, R, Tips

This error occurs when you call the rep function to replicate data, but the value you provide to replicate the number is not a positive real number. You can solve this problem by ensuring that the number is a single, positive real number.

This tutorial will go through the error and how to solve it with code examples.

## The rep() Function in R

The rep function replicates elements of vectors and lists. The `times` parameter of the function needs to be a non-negative number.

## Example #1: Using a negative number as the times argument in rep

Consider the following example of using the` rep()` function to replicate the number 1 four times.

```val <- rep(1, 4)
val```

Let’s run the code to see what happens:

`1 1 1 1`

We successfully retrieved a numeric vector of length `4` consisting of the number `1`.

Let’s try to use a negative number for the `times` parameter.

```val <- rep(1, -4)
val```

Let’s run the code to see the result:

`Error in rep(1, -4) : invalid 'times' argument`

The error occurs because we set the `times` argument to a negative number when it needs to be a non-negative value only.

### Solution

We can solve the error by using a positive value for the `times` argument. Let’s look at the revised code:

```val <- rep(1, 4)
val```

Let’s run the code to see the result:

` 1 1 1 1`

We successfully retrieved a numeric vector of length `4` consisting of the number `1`.

## Example #2: Using NA as the times argument in rep

The error can also occur if we use a `NA` value as the `times` argument. Consider the following example:

```val <- rep(1, NA)
val```

Let’s run the code to see the result:

`Error in rep(1, NA) : invalid 'times' argument`

### Solution

We can solve this error by replacing the `NA` value with a valid non-negative number.

```val <- rep(1,5)
val```

Let’s run the code to see the result:

` 1 1 1 1 1`

We successfully retrieved a numeric vector of length `5` consisting of the number `1`.

## Summary

Congratulations on reading to the end of this tutorial! If you encounter this error when passing a variable as the `times` argument in the rep function, check if the value is negative or `NA` beforehand, then replace it with a valid non-negative number.

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For further reading on data analysis with R, go to the article: How to Download and Plot Stock Prices with quantmod in R

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