JavaScript Comparison Operator

The JavaScript comparison operator takes two operands and then compare it. The result of the comparison is a boolean value. The operands could be

  • a number
  • a string
  • a boolean value
  • or an object

Usage and Syntax

You can use comparison operator anywhere within the script, however, these are more popular in conditional blocks such as if-else, loops and so on.

//comparison operator syntax 
<value1> comparison operator <value2>
//output: either true or false

Here is a simple example,

//comparison operator #1
console.log(34 == 23); 
//output: false

if( 3 < 4)
{
    console.log(true);
}
//output: true

As you can see that a comparison operator can be used anywhere you want as long as you have valid operand types.

Types of Comparison Operators

The JavaScript introduces some new operators, for example, (==) is a simple equality operator found in most of the programming languages.It only checks for the equality of values mean ( “3” == 3) is true, whereas (===) is a new operator in JavaScript that not only checks for equality in value, but also checks for similarity in the data type; therefore, (“3” === 3) is false.

Here is a list of all comparison operators in JavaScript programming.

OperatorNameDescription
==equalitycheck for equal values
===strict equalitycheck for equal values and same data type
!=not equalitycheck if operands are not equal in values
!==strict not equalitycheck if operands are not equal in both value and type
<less thancheck if L is less than the R operand, ( L < R )
<=less than or equal tocheck if L is less than or equal to the R operand ( L <=R )
>greater thancheck if L is greater than the R operand, ( L > R )
>=greater than or equal tocheck if L is greater than or equal to the R operand, (L >= R)

Now we shall discuss each one of these operators with examples.

Equality Operator (==)

The equality operator takes two operands and compare it for its value. If the value does not match then returns a false, otherwise, returns a true. The data type does not matter in the comparison.

Example #1

//variable declarations
var x = true;
var y = 1;
console.log(x == y);
var a = 20;
var b = "20";
console.log(a == b);
var c = 33;
var d = 23;
console.log(c == d);

Output #1

true
true
false

Strict Equality Operator ( === )

The strict equality operator ( === ) compares two operands for equal values and same type. If either value or type or both mismatches, it will return a false, otherwise returns a true.

Example #2

//variable declaration
var m = true;
var n = "1";
console.log(true === "1");
var p = 120;
var q = "120";
console.log(p === q);
var str1 = "Hello";
var str2 = "hello";
console.log(str1 === str2);
var r = "Apple";
var s = "Apple";
console.log(r === s);

Output #2

false
false
false
true

From the example above, it is very clear that the value and its type must match perfectly for strict equality to be true.

Not Equality Operator (!=)

The not equal to operator simply compares the values and if values are equal then returns a boolean true, otherwise, it is false. This comparison operator again do not check for the type, but only values.

Example #3

console.log(24 != "24"); //false
console.log(24 !=  35); //true
console.log("Hello" != "hello");//true

Output #3

false
true
true

In console.log(24 != “24”) , the value of 24 is same in both, but the type is different. Therefore, result is false. In the second case, console.log(24 != 35) the numbers are clearly not the same;therefore, result is true.

In the third case, strings are same, but, the character code of capital H and lowercase ‘h’ has different numeric values. It is also different, and result is true.

In comparing values, some values are special such as NaN or ( Not-a-Number). A NaN is defined as a numeric value that undefined or not re-presentable.

console.log(NaN != NaN);//true
or 
console.log(NaN == NaN);//false

The IEEE specifies NaN using special floating point representation where exponents are all 1s, mantissa is a non-zero to represent invalid numbers. in JavaScript, NaN can be checked using isNaN() function. Mostly, some operations give invalid numbers represented by NaN. So, we can say that it is very rare that we use NaN systematically in our scripts.

Less Than Operator ( < )

The less than operator is only to compare two operand values. Suppose you have x and y that gives this expression – x < y. The less than operand compares if the value of x is less than the value of y. Caution: It is not y greater than x.

Example #4

//variable declarations
var x = 10;
var y = 20;
console.log(x < y); //true
console.log(y < x); //false

Output #3

true
false

The first case above, compares x with y for less than value, the result is true because x is 10 and y is 20; but the reverse is not true and result is false.

Less Than Or Equal To Operator ( <=)

The less than or equal to is found in all programming languages and mathematics. It compares two kind of values – less than and equal values. Suppose x and y are two values, then x is compared with y for equal value or less then y. The result is a boolean true or false.

Example #4

//variable declarations
var x = 10;
var y =  43;
var z = 43;
console.log(x <= y); //true
console.log(y <= z); //false

Output #4

true
false

You can see that the <= operator can be used to check both equality or less than relationship between two operands.

Comparing strings

While comparing strings, the comparison operators will convert the string into its numerical value and then sees less then, greater than, or equality relationship. For example,

console.log("Hello" <= "hello"); //true 

Most modern browsers use utf-8 codes for characters which is compatible with ASCII codes. The letter ‘H’ has a utf-8 decimal value of 72 and the letter ‘h’ has a value of 104.

Greater Than Operator ( > )

Similar to less than operator, the greater than (>) operator compares left and right operand and sees if the left operand is greater than the right. Suppose x and y are two operands, then the greater than operator is compares x > y, if x is greater value, then result is true, otherwise, false.

Example #5

//variable declarations
var x = 100;
var y = 40;
console.log(x > y); // true
console.log(y > x); // false

Output #5

true
false

The left value which is x is greater in the first case. The result is true. However, the left value y is smaller in the second case, therefore, you get a false.

Greater Than Or Equal To ( >= )

The greater than or equal to operator is similar to less than or equal to operation. Only difference is that we try to check for greater than and equality together. If x is greater than or equal value to y, then the result is true. If x is less then false.

Example #6

//variable declaration 
var x = 23;
var y = 23;
var z = 54;
console.log(x >= y); //true
console.log(x >= z); // false

Output #6

true
false

The first case, x is equal to y and the result is true. But, in the second case, x is not greater than z; therefore, it is false.

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