FAQ: Inheritance and Polymorphism - Child Classes in Arrays and ArrayLists

This community-built FAQ covers the “Child Classes in Arrays and ArrayLists” exercise from the lesson “Inheritance and Polymorphism”.

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FAQs on the exercise Child Classes in Arrays and ArrayLists

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My solution to the problem 8/9:

// Add your code below:
    Noodle[] allTheNoodles = {spaghetti, ramen, pho};
    for (Noodle noodle : allTheNoodles) {
    } // end for-each loop

I got the right answer just following the syntax in the example, but I don’t quite understand the usage of the colon ( : ), and I don’t believe it was explained earlier. Can someone please walk me through it? I can kind of infer how it works, but would appreciate someone who actually knows explain it so I don’t get it wrong. Thanks!

I think it is explained in the for-each lesson of loops. The syntax(element:b) means that ‘for the element in a list of elements in b’ in which it does an operation or something to each element in b. Like the above example~
for (Noodle noodle : allTheNoodles) {
infers that for each noodle in allTheNoodles (do something to each noodle, print etc)!


There’s this section in the instructions:

Monster dracula, wolfman, zombie1;

dracula = new Vampire();
wolfman = new Werewolf();
zombie1 = new Zombie();

Monster[] monsters = {dracula, wolfman, zombie1};

I don’t understand the syntax at the top, or what its function is. Does it set dracula, wolfman, and zombie1 as Monster types? Can this code run without that line?

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Thanks for explaining it! I have been looking at a few other resources (after having completed the Codecademy Java lessons) and it cemented what I had originally inferred. I think I originally was confused as “noodle” was not defined anywhere else and the syntax just threw me for a bit of a loop (no pun intended). Thanks again for explaining it, much appreciated!!

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Under the subject Inheritance, can someone please advise me how I can create a child class (file) that compiles in IntelliJ IDEA? I do not have problems with the code. My problem is in linking the Child to the Parent and achieve compilation.

Below is the code for the 2nd lesson on Inheritance:
class Noodle {

double lengthInCentimeters;
String shape;
String texture = “brittle”;

public void cook() {

this.texture = "cooked";


public static void main(String args) {

Spaghetti spaghettiPomodoro = new Spaghetti();



I googled for a solution, the only advise that was close to what I needed was from StackOverflow, and I qoute:
" If you are already in the Project View, press Alt+Insert ( New ) | Class . Project View can be activated via Alt+1.

To create a new class in the same directory as the current one use Ctrl+Alt+Insert ( New… ).

You can also do it from the Navigation Bar, press Alt+Home, then choose package with arrow keys, then press Alt+Insert.

Another useful shortcut is View | Select In (Alt+F1), Project (1), then Alt+Insert to create a class near the existing one or use arrow keys to navigate through the packages.

And yet another way is to just type the class name in the existing code where you want to use it, IDEA will highlight it in red as it doesn’t exist yet, then press Alt+Enter for the Intention Actions pop-up, choose Create Class ."
I tried this: ctrl + alt + insert. This took me to a GUI where I was asked to name the class, and, in addition, choose from “Class”, “Interface”, “Enum” and “Annotation”. For name I typed in “Spaghetti” and for “Kind”, I selected “Class”. This created a seemingly child class “Spaghetti” as a sub-file to “Noodle”. I was happy as there were no red squiggles in my code, but my happiness was short-lived as compilation failed. Can someone tell me what am I doing wrong?

Thanks guys. I made a breakthrough. Simply press Ctrl + Alt + Insert, name your child class, and select “class”. Back to your main IDEA environment, highlight parent file choose compile (Parent file name) and you are done. The trick was on which file to compile. DO NOT compile the child file, but the parent file.

Hi! in the line of code where we have
for (Noodle noodle : allTheNoodles) {}

how can we use “noodle” in the for-each loop if it hasn’t been defined yet?

You’re not exactly defining anything here. You’re basically just telling the computer to make noodle equal whatever item in the list the loop is currently on.

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Nice, thank you for explaining this. I was looking for the same thing.

It is the same as following:

Monster dracula = new Vampire();
Monster wolfman = new Werewolf();
Monster zombie1 = new Zombie();

You can also declare them as
Vampire dracula = new Vampire();
Werewolf wolfman = new Werewolf();
Zombie zombie1 = new Zombie();

You are essentially casting each member of allTheNoodles to a Object Type on the fly.

For the purpose of this exercise, yes,
You can also declare them as
Vampire dracula = new Vampire();
Werewolf wolfman = new Werewolf();
Zombie zombie1 = new Zombie();

But you should know that this way of declaring
Monster dracula = new Vampire();
Monster wolfman = new Werewolf();
Monster zombie1 = new Zombie();

is more restrictive. Declaring like this means you cannot use methods from child classes unless those are overridden forms of parent class methods. Using :
Vampire dracula = new Vampire();
Werewolf wolfman = new Werewolf();
Zombie zombie1 = new Zombie();
gives you more options.

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I got the answer to this problem.

The only thing I’m still scratching my had over is, when we call the method getCookPrep() from the main() method, aren’t we referencing a non-static method from a static method??

Isn’t that supposed to create an error? Why does it work if I print

but not if I print

Let me know, thank you!

Reading all the other comments, I understand that in the for-each loop ‘noodle’ is a placeholder loop variable - if so, why is Noodle there before it? If it was just a variable, there wouldn’t need to be prefacing it, right? My understanding of for-each loops is that only the variable there is needed, so if someone could clarify what Noodle is doing there I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

Welcome to the forums!

The format of a for-each loop declaration is as follows:

for (datatype var : array)

So, in this exercise, we are looping through allTheNoodles. Each iteration, the next element is assigned to noodle. The datatype of noodle is Noodle. With this in mind, can you see why we write the loop as for (Noodle noodle : allTheNoodles)?

I see now, I forgot that the datatype of the variable had to be included and that in this case, it can be the parent class object! Thank you so much for the help and quick reply, much appreciated!

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