NEW: Subscribe to Hacking with Swift+ and accelerate your learning! >>

The ternary operator

Swift has a rarely used operator called the ternary operator. It works with three values at once, which is where its name comes from: it checks a condition specified in the first value, and if it’s true returns the second value, but if it’s false returns the third value.

The ternary operator is a condition plus true or false blocks all in one, split up by a question mark and a colon, all of which which makes it rather hard to read. Here’s an example:

let firstCard = 11
let secondCard = 10
print(firstCard == secondCard ? "Cards are the same" : "Cards are different")

That checks whether the two cards are the same, then prints “Cards are the same” if the condition is true, or “Cards are different” if it’s false. We could write the same code using a regular condition:

if firstCard == secondCard {
    print("Cards are the same")
} else {
    print("Cards are different")
}

Subscribe to Hacking with Swift+

Sponsor Hacking with Swift and reach the world's largest Swift community!

BUY OUR BOOKS
Buy Pro Swift Buy Swift Design Patterns Buy Testing Swift Buy Hacking with iOS Buy Swift Coding Challenges Buy Swift on Sundays Volume One Buy Server-Side Swift (Vapor Edition) Buy Advanced iOS Volume One Buy Advanced iOS Volume Two Buy Advanced iOS Volume Three Buy Hacking with watchOS Buy Hacking with tvOS Buy Hacking with macOS Buy Dive Into SpriteKit Buy Swift in Sixty Seconds Buy Objective-C for Swift Developers Buy Server-Side Swift (Kitura Edition) Buy Beyond Code

Was this page useful? Let us know!

Average rating: 4.9/5

Link copied to your pasteboard.