FAQ: Conditional Statements - Truthy and Falsy Assignment

This community-built FAQ covers the “Truthy and Falsy Assignment” exercise from the lesson “Conditional Statements”.

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Hi everyone,

First time posting here and new to coding, so forgive me if the answer is obvious! I have a question about one of the examples given in the “Truthy and Falsy Assignment” chapter in “Learn JavaScript”.

It goes as follows:

let username = ‘’;
let defaultName;

if (username) {
defaultName = username;
} else {
defaultName = ‘Stranger’;

console.log(defaultName); // Prints: Stranger

My question: I don’t understand the need for “let defaultName;” etc.
Why can’t I use the solution below instead? It seems to work, and I wouldn’t have to use the extra “let defaultName;” section:

let username = ’ ';

if (username) {


} else {

username = ‘Stranger’; console.log(username)


Or is this simply a case of the exercise choosing one example as a solution, when there are many?

Any insights greatly appreciated, especially if phrased as if talking to a 5 year-old, haha!

It is all about consistency and greatness.