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You don't need to use variable ba, try: $ echo $a | awk -F',' '{print '"$b"'}' 15986327,415532694,875121642 With this, $b is expanded by the shell, not by awk. And the rest of awk statement is not affect, because they're enclosed in single quote.


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awk variables are just used for their values, like variables in most languages - they aren't re-parsed for expressions. You can do what you want with this: a='15986327,415532694,850257614,875121642,20140819' echo $a | awk -F, -v OFS=, '{print $1, $2, $4}' (setting OFS so you get commas in the output). If having b as a variable is required, you can use: ...



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