In order to prove that the following language is regular, would I use a pumping lemma?

The set $A$ of all strings that are substrings of some string in $L$, where $L \subseteq\Sigma^*$. $L$ Must be regular.

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    $\begingroup$ Good. Now do a similar modification to the title, otherwise one of our moderators will likely suggest that it be sharpened. Consider, for example, "If $L$ is regular, is the language of all substrings of $L$ regular?" $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2016 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ @NoahSM1993 is it some string, or any string? $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2016 at 2:21
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Computer Science! The title you have chosen is not well suited to representing your question. Please take some time to improve it; we have collected some advice here. Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Dec 1, 2016 at 5:47
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    $\begingroup$ The pumping lemma is only a necessary condition for regularity, thus it can only be used to show that some language is not regular. $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2016 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Here's a hint. Since $L$ is regular, there is a finite automaton $M$ that accepts all and only those strings in $L$. Suppose you only wanted those substrings that start with the same character as a string in $L$. Could you somehow modify $M$ (perhaps by making some states final) so that it would accept all substrings starting with the same character as a string accepted by $L$?

Having done that, could extend this (perhaps with $\epsilon$-moves) so that you could jump from the start state of $M$ to a string along an accepting path in $M$?


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