FAQ: Conditional Statements - If...Else Statements

This community-built FAQ covers the “If…Else Statements” exercise from the lesson “Conditional Statements”.

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This exercise can be found in the following Codecademy content:

Web Development

Introduction To JavaScript

FAQs on the exercise If…Else Statements

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The lesson says the else statements run if the condition is false. Is this to say that if statement conditions should always be true?

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There is no rule that specifies that. We use if to test a condition, on the basis we don’t know what its state is.

if condition:
    # this is the branch for a truthy condition
    # the branch for anything not truthy

4 posts were split to a new topic: What is the formatting for if/else statements? (Semicolons and indentation)

6 posts were split to a new topic: Why do we write if(sale) instead of if(sale===true)?

I need help understanding: let sale = true but then the second line has sale = false

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I am just confused here. We made a let variable called “sale”, with the content of it true, right? But then we changed it to false, how come, if it’s false now, a line it the if function says if(sale), however, i think that means “if false”, but if its false why doesn’t it do the function?

let sale = true;

sale = false;

if(sale) {
  console.log('Time to buy!');

I hope i get an answer.

Because false is not truthy, and only true or truthy conditions are allowed into the first branch of an if statement.

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I understand the basic concept of this, but I am confused as to how the code determines the true or false aspect of it. Here is my code:

let sale = true;

sale = false;

if (sale) {

console.log(‘Time to buy!’);

} else {

console.log(‘Time to wait for a sale.’)


Conceptually, if it is “True” then the output will be “Time to buy!”, and if it “False” then the output will be “Time to wait for a sale!” But my question relates to how it knows which is which. Since we set the first variable to True and the second one to False, is that why it connects the first statement with being True and the second one to False? Meaning, is the order of the set variables important?

Only in regards to which value will take hold. The latter declaration replaces the value, so ‘false’ holds.

if (sale)

tests for truthiness. ‘false’ is not truthy.

I had a question regarding the semantics of spaces within JavaScript code:

On the Learning (left) side, part of the code is written as if (false) { but on the JS exercise (right) side, it doesn’t have a space between the words “if” and “(false)”. Which should it be or does it matter?

Thank you in advance!

The SCT (Submission Correctness Test) might not be written to accept the space, but JS doesn’t care. White space is largely ignored by the parsing engine.

Choose a style, after reviewing a couple of style guides, then stick with it so your work is easy to read as a body of code.

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Curious about how the computer reads if/else statements, would appreciate any insight on the matter.

I know myself from just writing it out as so that you don’t need else between the curly brackets like } else {, and can instead write it like
end of if
else {


However i’m curious, does the computer read an if statement, and then for the rest of your code look for an else, unless it hits another if? Or does it have to come directly after the if’s closing curly bracket?

We can write an if statement with or without added white space. JS ignores most of it as long as the expected token or value is present as it parses the statement. Write it all on one line, if you like (though your readers might frown on that).

Where we write the LBRACE and RBRACE is a matter for us to decide, but once decided, stick with that presentation throughout. There are different schools of thought, but none is more right than the other given any of them will work, the proviso above notwithstanding.

My own style uses,

if (...) {
  // code
} else if (...) {
  // code
} else {
  // default

Being script, nothing is compiled until it is run. JS may not even see the else if or the else clauses during run time if the opening condition is truthy.

Gotcha, thanks a bunch! One line writers scare me so no worries there :sweat_smile:

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