If you have a string, for example

"The quick brown fox", "The quicker brown fox".

If you try and use the VIM substitute regexp s/"The quick brown."// you'll end up nuking the whole line up to the terminating period mark. This is because the regular expression is acting greedily, and matching up to the second and final " character.

In PERL compatible regexps you would simply modify the expanding part of the regexp to be .? which makes the expression match as little as possible.

In VIM the syntax is slightly different. To do a non-greedy expansion, you use .{-}. For example:

s/"The quick brown.{-}"//

This will leave you with

, "The quicker brown fox".