What is an else statement?

Featured image

An else statement is a block of code to run when a condition is not met

In What is an if statement? you were introduced to if statements. We posed a question (“ _Should I go outside and take a walk?”) and wrote some pseudocode on how this could be represented in an_ if statement:

if (takeWalkOutside) {
    // put on your shoes

But what if our logic wasn’t as simple as this and instead we want to find out what shoes we should wear, based on the weather?

Luckily we only own two pairs of shoes, so our logic is still nice and simple: if it’s raining outside, we want to wear our wellies, otherwise we’ll wear trainers.

This is where we can use an else statement.

if (raining) {
    // put on wellies
} else {
    // put on trainers

In this example, we’ll perform the action (putting on trainers) whenever the raining condition is not met.

But what if we don’t just own two pairs of shoes? What if we own sandals, for when it’s sunny, and snow boots, for when it’s snowing.

Using an else statement wouldn’t help us achieve this. Currently, we’re only checking if it’s raining, every other situation will result in the same action (putting on trainers).

We can, however, use else-if. This will allow us to check for multiple conditions.

if (raining) {
    // put on wellies
} else-if (snowing) {
    // put on snow boots
} else-if (sunny) {
    // put on sandals
} else {
    // stay indoors

Now we can check whether it’s raining, snowing or sunny and wear the appropriate footwear.

Notice how we still have the else statement, but this time we’re going to stay indoors if it’s any other type of weather.