If I type 2daW, I can delete the current Word and the next (though I can't really see that case covered in the manual).

Is there a way to visual-select around two words? I tried 2vaW, but of course (as the manual says) that does something else (something... complicated). va2W seems to ignore the count (while da2W seems to quit the action at 2 and start a new one).

1 Answer 1


You can of course use v2aw, v3aw and so on as described in the :h text-objects where aw is a text object that accepts count.

You can also compose viw and e. Like viwe for 2 words, viw2e for 3 words etc...

enter image description here

So what is the difference with daw, caw and vaw? Why can't you 2vaw but 2daw works?

  • d and c are operators (:h operator) -- they accept count + motion and delete or change text accordingly. So for 2daw you pass 2 for a d operator and a motion (a word text object).
  • v is a mode change -- you switch from normal to visual. Yes it also accepts a count but it does completly different thing compared to operators -- select the same number of characters/lines as used for the previous visual selection and multiply it by count. So you have selected what you didn't expect and then also made a single motion aw.
  • That's what I ended up doing in practice, but I though there might be a text object representing "around two words" (like a2w -- but it doesn't exist; I guess theoretically it could be defined, just like folks define the "entire buffer" text object).
    – usretc
    Mar 5, 2021 at 6:57
  • Off topic, but how do you make the animated script-like GIF?
    – usretc
    Mar 5, 2021 at 6:59
  • 1
    @AldIn there is a text object aw you can provide a count to it v10aw to select 10 "around words", d10aw to delete them.
    – Maxim Kim
    Mar 5, 2021 at 7:08
  • 1
    @AldIn screen2gif for win, there are other tools for other oses.
    – Maxim Kim
    Mar 5, 2021 at 7:09
  • Ah, it should have been v2aw, not va2w !! That's the answer I was looking for, you might want to amend your posting.
    – usretc
    Mar 5, 2021 at 7:19

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