JavaScript JavaScript Basics

Using the Javascript Conditional Operator

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The JavaScript conditional operator is a basic building block of JavaScript programs.

The conditional operator is also called the ternary operator.

It lets us write expression that returns one thing if a given condition it truthy and return something else otherwise.

The conditional operator is denoted by the ? operator.

We can use it as follows:

const foo = condition ? 'foo' : 'bar';

In the code above, if condition is truthy, then 'foo' is returned. Otherwise, 'bar' is returned.

Then the returned value is assigned to the foo variable.

The code is above is short for:

if (condition) {
  return 'foo';
else {
  return 'bar';

As we can see, the code above is much longer than using the conditional operator.

Since it’s save so much typing and space on the page, we should use the conditional operator instead of using if statements if we want to write code that returns one thing if a given condition is truthy and something else otherwise.

By John Au-Yeung

Web developer specializing in React, Vue, and front end development.

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