FAQ: Learn Java: Methods - The toString() Method


This community-built FAQ covers the “The toString() Method” exercise from the lesson “Learn Java: Methods”.

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This exercise can be found in the following Codecademy content:

Learn Java

FAQs on the exercise The toString() Method

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1 Like

I don’t understand how System.out.println knows to connect with the toString method. What would we do if we had several classes that we wanted to print different messages about in main()?


When we print out Objects, we often see a String that is not very helpful in determining what the Object represents. In the last lesson, we saw that when we printed our Store objects, we would see output like:


where Store is the name of the object and 6bc7c054 is its position in memory.

This doesn’t tell us anything about what the Store sells, the price, or the other instance fields we’ve defined. We can add a method to our classes that makes this printout more descriptive.

When we define a toString() method for a class, we can return a String that will print when we print the object

so the toString method is useful to see what an object represents, what you want would require defining methods to call on the object.


Is toString a reserved word? What would have stopped me inadvertently making a toString() method to do something entirely different, only to find out that it was invoked when I tried to print the object?


some things are the the developers responsibility, as developer you are mostly in control, so nothing would have stopped you

its an existing method yes, which you just overwrote for this object

toString is always invoked when printing an object.


How does control passes to toString() method from main since we haven’t called it exclusively.


its explained nicely here:


java calls toString automatically when you print an object.