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If Else in C#: Guide with Examples

Dec 31, 2023 | C#

Surely, every developer, regardless of their experience level, encounters conditional statements in their coding journey. For C# programmers, the If Else statement is an essential tool in the kit, let’s dig deeper into it.

Understanding The Basics: C# If Else Statement

Ah, the If Else statement, the bread and butter of every C# developer’s code. It’s one of the first concepts in programming we learn and one that we use daily.

What is If Else In C#

Describing the if else statement is like describing how a traffic light works. Imagine it at a crossroad directing the traffic; only instead of cars, it directs code execution paths.

//Example of C# If Else statement
int number = 7;
if (number > 5)
{
    Console.WriteLine("Number is greater than 5.");
}
else
{
    Console.WriteLine("Number is 5 or smaller.");
}

This C# program checks whether the number is greater than 5. If it is, it prints one message; if not, it prints another. Simple, isn’t it?

When to use If Else Statement in C#

We use the if else statement whenever we want to choose between two execution paths based on a condition—a task we often encounter in programming. For instance, validating inputs from a user, performing actions based on program states, etc.

Breaking Down the Syntax

Just like how every house is unique but built upon the same basic structure, every if else statement follows the same syntax.

//If Else C# statement syntax
if (boolean_condition)
{
    //Code to execute if condition is true
}
else
{
    //Code to execute if condition is false
}

Moving Forward: C# If Else If Statement

Sometimes, life isn’t as simple as a “yes” or “no” question. The if else statement is simple and powerful, but what if we have more than two conditions?
Let me introduce you to the C# version of “Sophie’s Choice”, the If Else If statement.

Understanding the Else If Statement in C#

The If Else If statement in C# is like a complex flowchart. It checks conditions in order until it finds a true condition, or reaches the end of the chain.

//Example of If Else If statement in C#
int number = 0;
if (number > 0)
{
    Console.WriteLine("Number is positive.");
}
else if (number < 0)
{
    Console.WriteLine("Number is negative.");
}
else
{
    Console.WriteLine("Number is zero.");
}

Applying Nested If Statements in C#

Besides using Else If, we could also use nested If statements. It’s like those Russian nesting dolls where each condition contains more conditions within. However, while they technically accomplish the same goal, they can cause confusion with their indentation levels.

C# One Line Conditional

When your code includes many simple If Else conditions, it can start to look like the Great Wall of China – long, repetitive, and tedious. That’s where one-line conditionals, a.k.a ternary operators, shine.

How to Apply C# One Line Conditional

The ternary operator (?:) is an abbreviated If Else statement that you can use in a single line. It’s like those mini Swiss Army knives – small but versatile.
Here’s the ternary operator in action:

//C# one line conditional example
int number = 0;
string message = (number > 0) ? "Number is positive." : "Number is not positive.";
Console.WriteLine(message);

This C# program declares an int variable number, then it uses a ternary operator to check whether number is greater than 0. If yes, it assigns “Number is positive.” to the message string variable, otherwise it assigns “Number is not positive.”.

Using Ternary Operator in C#

Ternary operators are nifty, but when overused or with too complex conditions, they could actually make your code less readable. So, it’s vital to know when to use it.

The Difference Between If and If Else Statement in C#

Earlier, we compared If Else statements to traffic lights. If that’s the case, then an If statement is a one-way traffic light – it only cares about one condition, whether it’s true.

Working with Single line If Statement

With a one-way traffic light, cars only move when the light is green. Similarly, with an if statement, code only runs when the condition is true. Here’s how it looks in C#:

//Single line If Statement in C#
int number = 7;
if (number > 5)
{
    Console.WriteLine("Number is greater than 5.");
}

Exploring If Else vs If in C#

Whether you should use if or if else depends on what you need. If you only care about one specific condition, by all means, use if. But if you want different behaviours for different conditions, then if else is the way to go.

And there you have it, a comprehensive guide to the If Else statement in C#, along with its close relatives. Whether you’re a coding newbie or an experienced nerd? Oops! I mean a wizard, this fundamental concept is vital to mastering coding in C#. May your coding journey be filled with precise conditions and minimal bugs. Happy coding!

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