How To Use The Ternary Operator in JavaScript

In JavaScript, there is a thing called the ternary operator.  It’s a fancy term for a shorthand way to write an if statement.  To compare and contrast let’s take a look at the long way of creating an if statement:

if(x==1){

alert(“There is ” + x + ” apple”);

}else{

alert(“There are ” + x + ” apples”);

}

This example is checking the value of x and if it’s 1 it will alert “There is 1 apple”.  If it’s not 1, it will alert, “There are 3 apples” or whatever the number is that was put in there.  Well, there’s a shorter, easier way to handle this using the ternary operator.  This is how the ternary operator is set up:

var tern = condition ? do this if true : do this if false;

There is a variable set up and its set equal to the ternary operator.  The first part is the condition, then a question mark, then what will happen if the condition is true, then a colon separating what will happen if it’s false.  So we could set up our example like so:

var tern = x==1 ? “There is ” + x + ” apple” : “There are ” + x + ” apples”;
alert(tern);

If x is one it will set tern equal to “There is 1 apple” and alert that.  If it’s not 1 then it will set to tern equal to “There are however many apples” and alert that.  Pretty useful I must say.  If you’d like to learn more be sure to check out our web design/development tutorials.  Have an amazing day!

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