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JavaScript JavaScript Basics (Retired) Making Decisions with Conditional Statements The Conditional Challenge Solution

Is it OK to use correct++ instead of correct += 1?

I used the variable "score" instead of "correct," but instead of using "score += 1," I used "score++" and it worked.

What are the pros and cons of incrementing the variable score like I did.

2 Answers

Steven Parker
Steven Parker
229,982 Points

It depends on how you use them.

When you use them as a complete statement in themselves, they do the same thing. But if you were to use them in a formula, assignment, or function call, they would be different.

When placed after the variable name, the ++ operator is known as the "post-increment operator". That means it increments the value after determining what to return. For example, let's say you have a function named "print" that will show a value on the screen. Here's what would happen if you used it on each of these:

var score = 4;
print(score += 1);  // this would print "5"
// score is 5 here
var score = 4;
print(score++);    // this would print "4"
// score is 5 here also

Interesting! Very helpful answer Steven. Yeah, so I tested this myself by doing the following:

var score = 4;
console.log(score++);

In this example, the value logged in the console was 4, but when I typed "score" in the console to see its value, the value of score was 5.

Well, when using "variable++", you increment the value by one. But if you use the "variable += [someValue]", you increment the value by any value you'd like. Maybe now you want to increment the variable by only one, but what if later on you decide, that you need to increment with a higher value? Then you have to search for your "variable++" line, and fix it, while if you have the "variable += [otherVariable]", you just change the "otherVariable" and you are done.

I see! That makes perfect sense. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.

Simon Coates
Simon Coates
28,694 Points

this is true. Soft coding is good practice and is more flexible. However variable++ is typically something you'd see in a loop. In that instance, you may only ever be going forward one, so there no ambiguity about where the implicit 1 comes from. I looked at while loop code examples for c#, Java, and javascript at microsoft, oracle and mozilla respectively. In all instances, the increment syntax was used. (Additionally Steven Parker is right - inevitably - about the pre and postfix distinction. However, it doesn't really matter if the increment is the only thing in a statement.)