Those appear to be command parameters and they can vary depending on the command they are being used with. More details and a full sample of the command and code will help us provide a more accurate answer.
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If you want to avoid overwriting the existing file & want to copy only when the destination file doesn’t exist, then use cp -n. This is just an example.
In Linux commands, -r and -n are the options which you will use with command, -r stands for recursively and -n stands for number but with different command it has another result. you can use man and pinfo command to read more about commands with options. and it will use like as :