FAQ: Learn Java: Loops - For-Each Loops

This community-built FAQ covers the “For-Each Loops” exercise from the lesson “Learn Java: Loops”.

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Learn Java

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import java.util.ArrayList;

class MostExpensive {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ArrayList<Double> expenses = new ArrayList<Double>();
    double mostExpensive = 0;
    // Iterate over expenses
    for (double expense : expenses) {
      if (expense > mostExpensive) {
        mostExpensive = expense; 
    } // end of for-each loops

I understand that is a convention to use the singular form (expense) of the plural form (expenses) when creating for-each loops… but how does the program know that “expense” is referring to the individual elements/items of the Array/ArrayList “expenses”?


It’s very weird that they do not accept simpler solutions for this exercise.
The notation posted above is required.

for (double expense : expenses) {
  if (expense > mostExpensive) mostExpensive = expense;

(A solution omitting the curly brackets gets rejected)

for (double expense : expenses) {
  mostExpensive = expense > mostExpensive ? expense : mostExpensive;

(A solution using the ternary operator, although we haven’t learned this, is also rejected)

1 Like

I also had this question. Also how does expense > mostExpensive result in the highest value in the arrayList

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if (expense > mostExpensive) {mostExpensive = expense);
if expense is greater than mostExpensive, the value of mostExpensive is updated and reassigned to expense which results in the highest value!


Thank you for your answer. I had the same question.

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I understand the functions of all the operators in these lines of code, and can follow the logic. However, I can do this because I know expense is the singular of expenses, and I know the coder wants the highest value double in the expenses list because I understand English. Still, how does the java compiler know
expense = individual elements of the ArrayList expenses;
mostExpensive = element with the highest valued double;
Could we have used any variable names (i.e. items, priciestItem) and it would have worked out the same because of the logic of the lines? Lol ugh, I’m really confused.

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So my Girl just explained it to me.
The word “expense” isjust a self chosen variable name. Important is the right value “double”.
As far as I understand every time the code hits a double in the expenses list the code runs through and checks if the new double is bigger than mostExpensive. If it is bigger than mostExpensive it is assigned to mostExpensive.
When it is through with the list it will have found the “priciestItem”.

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please how does the computer know what expense is if we didn’t declare it?

The lesson gives you that variable.

ArrayList<Double> expenses = new ArrayList<Double>();
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thank you this was very helpful