In this quick java tutorial, you will learn about the ternary operator.

## Introduction

Ternary operator in Java is simple yet confusing. It’s quite often used in Java programming. And, you might come to an interviewer asking- “What is Java ternary operator?”

## Ternary Operator in Java

Syntax of ternary operator-

condition ? expression1 : expression2;


Do you know that it is the only operator which takes 3 operants? Hence, the name ternary operator.

You can see the syntax is simple and easy to grab.

### How does Java Ternary Operator work?

The working is similar to that of a conditional if-else statement. Its evaluation is simply a boolean value i.e either true or false depending on the condition(boolean expression).

You can better understand its working by going through a code example.

Example 1: Check if the number is Even or Odd


//Using if-else
public class EvenOdd {
public static void main(String[] args) {

int val = 5;

if (val % 2 == 0) {
System.out.println("Even number");
} else {
System.out.println("Odd number");
}

}
}


Likewise, the same result can be achieved by using the Ternary operator.


//Using Ternary Operator
public class EvenOdd {
public static void main(String[] args) {

int val = 5;

String evenOdd = (val % 2 == 0) ? "Even number" : "Odd number";
System.out.println(val + " is " + evenOdd);
}
}


As you can see, we achieved the same result using the ternary operator(line number 9).

Output:

5 is Odd number

Note: Every if-else statement cannot be replaced with a ternary operator.

An advantage of using a ternary operator instead of using if-else is that –

• The number of code lines required to achieve the same result is less.

## Chained or Nested Ternary Operator

Yes, you can use a chained or nested ternary operator just like the nested if-else statement. Below, is a syntax-

condition ? expression1 : ( condition ? expression2 : expression 3);


Example 2: Java Program to check if the given number is positive, negative or equal to zero using ternary operator.


// nested ternary operator

public class NumCheck {
public static void main(String[] args) {

int num=0; //number to be checked

// check if the number is positve, negative or equa to 0
String msg = (num > 0 )? ("Number is positive integer" )
: ((num < 0 )? "Number is negative integer"
: "Number is equal to 0");

System.out.println(msg);
}
}


Output:

Number is equal to 0


A disadvantage of using the Ternary operator is that-

• Ternary operator implementation becomes complex and reduces code readability for long case scenarios.

Thus, We avoid nested ternary operator for long case scenarios.

You can read more such Java tutorial- Enhanced for loop in Java

In conclusion, We hope this tutorial helped you understand – how the ternary operator in Java works? Keep learning keep sharing. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.