## DEV Community

Kiara Contreras

Posted on • Updated on

# Understanding JS Ternary Operators

As a beginner dev, seeing code like this can be a tad bit, well, overwhelming.

```let person = { name: 'John', age: 25, legal: null };```

`person.legal = person.age >= 21 ? 'Yes' : 'No';`

Not to worry! Conditional (Ternary) Operators can be easy to use and will simplify your code, even if it's just a little bit.

### What do Ternary Operators represent?

Ternary Operators are used as a shorthand for `if else` statements. `if else` statements check a condition and usually have this syntax:

```if (condition) { value if true; } else { value if false; }```

So, if I wanted to determine whether the above person was above the legal US age for drinking I could write an `if else` statement like so.

```if (person.age >= 21) { person.legal = 'Yes'; else { person.legal = 'No'; }```

In the example above I'm able to determine whether the person is legal and assign a value to `person.legal`. But we can also accomplish this by using the ternary operator! Below is the syntax:

`condition ? value if true : value if false`

Instead of using an `if else` statement let's return the the first example given.

`person.legal = person.age >= 21 ? 'Yes' : 'No'`

Here I'm assigning `person.legal` to be either Yes or No by checking their age. If `person.age >= 21` then Yes is returned. Otherwise `person.legal` is set to No.

### Things to know

• The condition is what's being tested, whether it be an `if else` statement or ternary operator.
• A `?` separates the condition from the true value. Anything after the `?` and the before the `:` is what is executed if the condition is true.
• If the condition evaluates to false, any code after the colon is executed.

In conclusion, I appreciate you reading this and hope that you can now use ternary operators! Besides experience, I got most of my information from this awesome article which goes on to explain advanced ternary operators such as Nested Ternary and Multiple Ternary.