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Mohmed Ishak
Mohmed Ishak

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The "This" Keyword in JavaScript Simplified (Short & Concise Article)

Hey guys. The "this" keyword in JavaScript can be very confusing because the creators of JavaScript made that keyword play multiple roles which could confuse a developer. In this article, I'll summarize the usages of the "this" keyword.

[1] "This" in a Method

A method is just a normal function but which is a part of an object. Any usage of "this" in a method refers to the object it is in. For example, take a look at this key-value pair:

const person = {
  name: "Ishak",
  birthYear: 1831,         
  age: function() {
    return 2021 - this.birthYear;
  }
}
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[2] "This" as a Standalone Keyword

If you find any "this" keyword lying around in your JavaScript file, it refers to the global object (window object in browser and global in Node).

this.isALineOfCode;
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[3] "This" in a Function

While methods are functions that is part of an object, a function is a standalone code. Since it is not attached to any object/parent, "this" in a function refers to global object (window object in browser and global in Node).

function doSomething() {
  return this;
}
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[4] "This" in Function in Strict Mode

While developers would usually prefer to use TypeScript if they want to be strict, strict mode is a great option for starters. In strict mode, if you write "this" in a function, you'll get undefined.

"use strict";

function doSomething() {
  return this;
} 
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