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JavaScript: For Loop


We learned about while and do-while loops in the previous blog posts. Loops allow us to repeat the same action multiple times. They have three requirements:

  1. Start condition
  2. End condition
  3. Counter

The for-loop combines all three requirements on one line, unlike a while or do-while.

for (start; condition; counter) {
  // body

Example: If we would like to print numbers from 1 to 10 on the console.

for (let i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
  console.log(i); // 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

We start at 1 (that is the initial value of i), you end at 10 (that is the final value of i in evaluation), and you increment i by one each time (using i++). We can skip any part of the for-loop requirements, and it still works.

Exiting for loop

There are situations when we loop over a data structure, but if a condition is met, we do not want to do any more iterations. This is where the break keyword comes in.

for (let i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
    if (i === 3) { // As soon as i reaches 3 the looping ends
  console.log(i); // 1, 2

The example above is relatively simple. We can achieve it by changing the exit condition from i <= 10 to i < 3. There is no need to use the break keyword. We did an example to illustrate the keyword. We could be iterating over an array of person's names, and once we find a person, exit the loop.

Skipping an iteration

continue keyword allows us to skip a single iteration of the loop. It will not end looping like break does, but it will not execute a single repetition.

Example: print numbers from 1 to 10 but do not print 3 or 6.

for (let i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
    if (i === 3 || i === 6) { // when i is 3 or 6, skip console log and go to next value of i (next iteration)
    console.log(i); // 1 2 4 5 7 8 9 10

🚨 continue or break does not work with a ternary operator like ?. We have to use if...else statement.

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