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In unix-like system terminal, I sometimes used some commands incorrectly and make bash don't know what to do, but just pending on a newline. e.g.

grep 'word' -R

Then how can I make up to the mistake, or get rid of it to retry?

Looks like CTRL+C can help me return free, but not sure if this is a good practice?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

if control+c is not working you can press ctrl+z which will send the process background. Once the process is in background you can kill it by using kill %1

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Yes, pressing CtrlC repeatedly is the "usual" way to get out of commands waiting for additional input, or canceling running foregroud processes. You will end up with the normal shell prompt.

CtrlL clears the screen, which might also come in handy.

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For applications taking input, CtrlD will end the input. For example, tail without any parameters will tail standard input, so you can start typing on the screen. And when you finish (and you want it to actually tail), you press CTRL+D.

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