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I have a few files that contains a similar entry like as follows:

{"result":[]}
{"result":[{"alternative":[{"transcript":"I win","confidence":0.87958056},{"transcript":"when"},{"transcript":"Schwinn"},{"transcript":"Gwen"},{"transcript":"I went"}],"final":true}],"result_index":0}

Basically there's a string that has a "confidence" associated with it. This string always appears before the string "confidence". In this case, the target string is "I win". Using command line linux tools, how would I parse this file to get the target string?

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The "simple" answer is to use sed:

sed -n 's/.*\("[^"]*"\),"confidence".*/\1/p' filename

This will print "I win".  To exclude the quotes (and get just I win as the output), move the first two double quotes in the command outside of the parentheses:

sed -n 's/.*"\([^"]*\)","confidence".*/\1/p' filename

The better answer is to get a tool that's designed to parse JSON data.

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It's JSON, and linux tools are not very good for working with JSON. And your conditions are not very clear... But this perl one-liner produces from your example string "I win"

perl -0777 -nE 's/.*"(.+?)","confidence".*/$1/s; say'

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