# Regex for matching a US phone number

I have written my first regex:

static void Main(string[] args)
{
string phoneNumber= Console.ReadLine();

Regex pattern = new Regex("(1-)?\\p{N}{3}-\\p{N}{3}-\\p{N}{4}\\b");

MatchCollection collection = pattern.Matches(phoneNumber);

Console.WriteLine(phoneNumber + " is " + (collection.Count == 1 && collection[0].ToString() == phoneNumber ? "" : "not ") + "a valid US number.");
}


It needs to match the entire input string, and it can work for any US phone number with or without country code "1-". It can most likely be improved; any suggestions?

## Use of Regex Objects

If your intent is merely to validate that the input is a phone number or not, rather than trying to capture anything, you can use the static Regex.IsMatch function:

var isPhoneNumber = Regex.IsMatch(phoneNumber, "(1-)?\\p{N}{3}-\\p{N}{3}-\\p{N}{4}\\b");


That saves having to deal with creating a new object and deal with a MatchCollection

## Regex Pattern

There are a few things I would change:

• There is a simple character class for matching digits 0-9: \d. \p{N} may be more appropriate if you need to match the entire Unicode number group rather than simple digits, but then I would not expect to see the explicit 1 at the start.
• \b matches backspace characters, which seems a little odd in a phone number. I would omit it. If your phone number strings happen to have backspace characters at the end, it will still match, but I would not require it be there.
• Given the backslashes necessary for character escapes, I would prefix your string with the @ symbol for readability

Also, as @miasbeck points out, if you want to match the entire input string, you need to prefix the pattern with ^ and suffix it with $. They indicate that the match must start at the beginning and end of the string, respectively. The end result would be something like the following: @"^(1-)?\d{3}-\d{3}-\d{4}$"


Additionally, since there is no requirement that an area code is used for local numbers, so you may want to make it optional as well:

@"^((1-)?\d{3}-)?\d{3}-\d{4}$"  (note: The MSDN page on Regular Expression Language is always a good reference to check on when coming up with regex patterns in .NET code.) ## String Formatting Rather than concatenating the strings together, I would use a format string: const string FMT = "{0} is {1} a valid US number.";  Additionally, instead of using "", I always tend towards string.Empty, as it is much more explicit about intent. "" could easily be a mistake, but string.Empty is clear that you really do want an empty string. You can then output your result as follows: Console.WriteLine(FMT, phoneNumber, (isPhoneNumber ? string.Empty : "not "));  ## Bringing it Together Taking all the suggestions together, you get the following: static void Main(string[] args) { const string FMT = "{0} is {1} a valid US number."; var phoneNumber= Console.ReadLine(); var isPhoneNumber = Regex.IsMatch(phoneNumber, @"^((1-)?\d{3}-)?\d{3}-\d{4}$");
Console.WriteLine(FMT, phoneNumber, (isPhoneNumber ? string.Empty : "not "));
}


(note: I switch back and forth between C# and F# , so I use var more often than most - feel free to keep the explicit type declarations if you really want)

• You may want to add ^ at the start and \$ at the end of the pattern, because the OP asked to match the entire input string. – miasbeck Jan 15 '15 at 10:06
• @miasbeck good point - I'll make the edit. – Dan Lyons Jan 15 '15 at 18:28