What is a Ternary Operator in Swift

A ternary operator takes a condition and then returns either true or false depending on the value of the condition. The basic syntax can be seen in the example below.


This can be used as an alternative or a shorthand to If statements.

Let check out an example below.

var ourSpeed = 55

var speedLimit = 50

var currentSpeed = ourSpeed > speedLimit ? "Over Speed Limit" : "Below Speed Limit"

//                |     CONDITION      | ? |      TRUE      | : |      FALSE      |


// OUTPUT: Over Speed Limit

You can read the ternary example above as “if ourSpeed is greater than the speedLimit set currentSpeed to “Over Speed Limit” otherwise set currentSpeed to “Below Speed Limit”. Because our speedLimit was 50, the currentSpeed variable will be set to the true value of “Over Speed Limit”.

Ternary conditionals can be a little confusing to understand at first but they can be a great way to set variables based on a condition in one line of code. This is great for writing nice clean code.

Hope this helps clear up what is/how to use ternary conditionals.

Happy coding!


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