Pumping Lemma for CFG


If L is a context-free language, there is a pumping length p such that any string w ∈ L of length ≥ p can be written as w = uvxyz, where vy ≠ ε, |vxy| ≤ p, and for all i ≥ 0, uvixyiz ∈ L.

Applications of Pumping Lemma

Pumping lemma is used to check whether a grammar is context free or not. Let us take an example and show how it is checked.


Find out whether the language L = {xnynzn | n ≥ 1} is context free or not.


Let L is context free. Then, L must satisfy pumping lemma.

At first, choose a number n of the pumping lemma. Then, take z as 0n1n2n.

Break z into uvwxy, where

|vwx| ≤ n and vx ≠ ε.

Hence vwx cannot involve both 0s and 2s, since the last 0 and the first 2 are at least (n+1) positions apart. There are two cases −

Case 1vwx has no 2s. Then vx has only 0s and 1s. Then uwy, which would have to be in L, has n 2s, but fewer than n 0s or 1s.

Case 2vwx has no 0s.

Here contradiction occurs.

Hence, L is not a context-free language.